, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 45-61

Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) in natural habitats in Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru

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Troops ofSaimiri (squirrel monkeys) were observed in 31 locations in natural habitats in Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. Troop size varied from 10 to 35 animals in Panama and Colombia and from 120 to 300 or more in the unaltered rainforests of Amazonia. Troop size correlated with forest size in all areas.Saimiri associated withCebus (capuchin monkeys) in several areas.Saimiri troops showed different responses to man, fear and flight or neutral responses or curiosity; and these correlated with local environmental conditions. Social behavior varied significantly between the large and small troops. Social interactions were much more frequent and individual distances were much smaller in the large troops than in the small troops. Several factors that may relate to these differences in sociability are discussed in light of data from this and other studies.