Abundance of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) Affects Group Characteristics and Use of Space by Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) in Cabruca Agroforest
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Cabruca is an agroforest of cacao trees shaded by native forest trees. It is the predominant vegetation type throughout eastern part of the range of the golden-headed lion tamarins, Leontopithecus chrysomelas, an endangered primate endemic to Atlantic Forest. Understanding how lion tamarins use this agroforest is a conservation priority. To address this question, we documented the diet, home range size, group sizes and composition, density, number of litters and body condition of lion tamarins living in cabruca, and other habitats. Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus, was the most used species used by lion tamarins in cabruca and was widely available and used throughout the year. In cabruca, home range size was the smallest (22–28 ha) and density of lion tamarins was the highest (1.7 ind/ha) reported for the species. Group size averaged 7.4 individuals and was not significantly different among the vegetation types. In cabruca, groups produced one or two litters a year, and all litters were twins. Adult males in cabruca were significantly heavier than males in primary forest. Our study is the first to demonstrate that breeding groups of golden-headed lion tamarins can survive and reproduce entirely within cabruca agroforest. Jackfruit proved to be a keystone resource for lion tamarins in cabruca, and bromeliads were important as an animal prey foraging microhabitat. In cases where cabruca contains concentrated resources, such as jackfruit and bromeliads, lion tamarins may not only survive and reproduce but may fare better than in other forest types, at least for body condition and reproduction.