Abstract # 3:

Scheduled for Tuesday, August 12, 2014 -: (Grand Ballroom I) Plenary


SEASONALITY OF ALPHA MALE REPLACEMENTS IN WILD WHITE-FACED CAPUCHINS (CEBUS CAPUCINUS).

K. M. Jack1, V. A. Schoof1 and L. M. Fedigan2
1Tulane University, Department of Anthropology, 101 Dinwiddie Hall,, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA - Louisiana 70118, USA, 2University of Calgary
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     In many species there is a positive relationship between dominance status and reproductive success; thus, males can benefit from attaining the highest-ranking position in the dominance hierarchy. We report on replacements of alpha males in seven groups of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus), which were studied for variable periods (range 9 mos–28 yrs) between 1984-2013 in the Santa Rosa Sector, Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Additionally, we analyzed fecal testosterone (fT) levels of adult and subadult males in three groups in 2008-2009. We documented 26 alpha male replacements, with a mean tenure of 2.84 years (range 4 mos-14.6 yrs). White-faced capuchins are not strict seasonal breeders but exhibit a birth peak from May-July, and a corresponding conception peak between November–February. Most (46%) replacements occurred during the peak conception months (December-February), 35% in March and April just prior to the birth peak, while the remaining 19% are scattered throughout the wet season months of May-October (none were documented in September or November). Although fecal samples were collected during a period of group stability, we nonetheless found that fT levels were positively correlated with the months historically associated with alpha male replacements (Spearman’s rho = 0.745, N = 12, p = 0.005). These data indicate that the timing of alpha male replacements may be triggered by female reproductive state.