, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 161-190

Diet of a group ofLagothrix Lagothricha Lagothricha in southeastern Colombia

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We report the diet of a wild troop of woolly monkeys (Lagothricha lagothricha lagothricha)in undisturbed rain forest in the lower Apaporis River region of southeastern Colombia during 2400 hr of observation from January 1985 through September 1987. The woolly monkey diet consisted of 78.9% fleshy fruits, 4.3% seeds, 11.4% leaves, 4.9% invertebrates, 0.1% flowers, 0.1% tendrils, and 0.3% bark. Fleshy, endozoochorus fruits were by far the most important type of food for the subjects. Intensive sampling of food plants used by L. 1. lagothrichashows floristically diverse diet including 185 species in 41 families, the most frequently used and species-rich of which are the Sapotaceae,the Moraceae, and the Mimosaceae. We compare our findings with other recent data on the three other subspecies of Lagothrixand discuss some of the ecological influences that might account for the macrogeographic similarities and differences observed in woolly monkey diets. Together, these studies provide the empirical basis for an unambiguous conclusion: Lagothrix lagothricha,classified by the IUCN as vulnerable, is a significant seed disperser throughout its extensive range. Accordingly, extinction of a population of Lagothrix isa major perturbation in its ecosystem.