, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 949-969

Diet, Habitat Selection and Natural History of Cacajao melanocephalus ouakary in Jaú National Park, Brazil1

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We studied golden-backed uacaris, (Cacajao melanocephalus ouakary) in the late-wet season of 1999 and in the mid-dry season of 2000 in Jaú National Park (JNP), Brazil. Additional observations were taken by other scientists working in JNP. Group counts range from 2 to 30 in the wet season and from 1 to > 100 in the dry. In the wet season, we recorded uacaris only in flooded forests (igapó). During the dry season they were in igapó, campinarana, and terra firme forests. We supplemented observations via interviews with local informants on seasonal use of the forest types and of particular small patches of different habitat types that exhibit high temporal patchiness in fruit availability. We recorded a total of 13 food plant species (dry season, 4; flooded season, 9), and a further 55 were provided by interviews. We noted the physical dimensions and hardness of 26 fruit species. Despite accepted specializations of the uakaris on hard unripe fruit, we recorded incidents of insectivory and folivory. Patterns of food availability, and therefore the seasonal habitat-use patterns by golden-backed uacaris, appear to be more complex than previously realized.

The authors dedicate this paper to the memory of J. Marcio Ayres, the founding father of uacari field biology.