, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 53-62

Geographical distribution of the black howler (Alouatta pigra) in Central America

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Abstract

The geographic range of the black howler,Alouatta pigra in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize was investigated by travelling through and visiting 65 locations within or close to the expected range. The existence of the species was noted through first hand observations or was documented by talking with residents and knowledgeable people in the area. Observations were made on captive animals as well. All sites and probable sites ofA. pigra were noted to be under 1,300 ft in altitude and in areas with a mean annual temperature above 25°C and a mean annual rainfall over 1,000 mm per year. This area coincides with tropical rain forest areas, including both tropical evergreen and semievergreen rain forests.A. pigra was most plentiful in riverine areas which showed flooding for some part of the year. Two areas of possible sympatry withA. palliata were noted. In all cases, the troop sizes ofA. pigra were extremely small, under ten individuals, and infants could easily be sexed, in contrast toA. palliata which is known to occur in troops of 15–18 and is difficult to sex at an early age. Finally, a very gross method for population estimation from searching time emerged from the study.