Behavior, Ecology, and Demography of Aotus vociferans in Yasuní National Park, Ecuador
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- Fernandez-Duque, E., Di Fiore, A. & Carrillo-Bilbao, G. Int J Primatol (2008) 29: 421. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9244-y
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Given its broad geographical distribution, Aotus is a productive genus for comparative studies that evaluate how different ecological factors influence the morphology, behavior, ecology, and demography of closely related species. During 18 mo we collected demographic, ranging, and activity data from owl monkeys (Aotus vociferans) in Yasuní National Park in eastern Ecuador. To collect demographic data, we monitored the trail system several times per week searching for groups. To characterize patterns of activity, we recorded the time when the subjects began and ended their nocturnal activity, and we collected data on range use and daily path length during 12 full-moon and 12 new-moon night follows of 1 radiocollared group. They ranged in size between 3 and 5 individuals (n = 4 groups). All groups were strictly nocturnal, beginning their activity between 1800 and 1900 h and finishing it between 0500 and 0600 h. The territory size of the radiocollared group was 6.3 ha. On average, the subjects traveled 645 m per night (±286 m) and ranged farther during full-moon than new-moon nights. The owl monkeys used a small number of preferred daytime sleeping trees. Our data conform well with previous studies of other tropical owl monkeys from Colombia and Perú. A comparison of tropical owl monkeys with more temperate Aotus azarai from the Argentinean Gran Chaco reveals that grouping patterns, day range length, and territory size are relatively conserved across the genus despite dramatic differences in body size and activity pattern.