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Primates. 2006 Jul;47(3):239-47. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Activity and ranging patterns of Colombian woolly monkeys in north-western Amazonia.

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Department of Anthropology, State University New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


In this study, I revise three aspects of the socioecology of woolly monkeys (genus Lagothrix) that might give us a better understanding of the patterns found in this species: (1) the association between temporal variation in fruit abundance and diet, activity, and ranging patterns; (2) the individual trade-offs associated with living in small or large groups, and (3) the relationship between social dominance and foraging success. Using behavioral and ecological data collected during 3 years in Tinigua Park, Colombia, I found that woolly monkeys tend to avoid open-degraded forests, where fruit production is generally lower than it is in mature forests. Diet and activity budgets were highly associated with temporal patterns of fruit production. Daily path length was positively correlated with group size and monthly fruit abundance, and negatively correlated with habitat quality. I found differences in activity budgets and the diet preferences of different age/sex classes. For example, adult males rest more and juveniles play more than other classes. Juveniles and adult females without infants look for arthropods more often than adult males and females with young infants, who showed the highest frequencies of fruit feeding. Dominant adult males were not consistently the most efficient foragers on fruits according to two different indexes. Most of these results are consistent with the expectations from strong intra-group competition for resources. However, females with infants received benefits during feeding similar to those of dominant adult males, which may be mediated by differential aggression from males to other group members (juveniles and females without infants).

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