Abstract # 156:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

How ecology and demography influence density in two populations of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), Yasuni National Park, Ecuador

A. M. Derby1,2,3 and A. Di Fiore2,3,4
1Stony Brook University, Stony Brook University, Department of Anthropology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA, 2Univerisdad San Francisco de Quito, 3Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador, 4New York University
     Despite several decades of research on primates around the tropics, we are still unable to be predictive and explicative about the distribution of primate biomass and primate diversity. The use of multivariate approaches however has proven to be extremely useful in the fields of biology, paleobiology and ecology in obtaining a more complete understanding of the interrelationships within an ecosystem. This study employed a multivariate approach to examine the relationships between ecology, demography, and behavior to determine what factors most greatly influence folivore biomass, and whether these are the same among different folivore taxa. We conducted research on two populations of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) that occur in different habitat types and at different densities within Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. Preliminary information on the ecology of the two sites suggests that soil fertility as well as the density and distribution of plant species are higher in the area of higher red howler monkey density (P < 0.05). In addition, we have found that daily path lengths are shorter, group sizes are larger and the frequencies of long call vocalizations are greater at the high-density versus the low-density site (P < 0.05). The fertility of the soil and the forest structure play a large role in affecting the density as well as the behavior of the red howler monkeys in Ecuador.