, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 239–247 | Cite as

Activity and ranging patterns of Colombian woolly monkeys in north-western Amazonia

  • Pablo R. StevensonEmail author
Original Article


In this study, I revise three aspects of the socioecology of woolly monkeys (genus Lagothrix) that might give us a better understanding of the patterns found in this species: (1) the association between temporal variation in fruit abundance and diet, activity, and ranging patterns; (2) the individual trade-offs associated with living in small or large groups, and (3) the relationship between social dominance and foraging success. Using behavioral and ecological data collected during 3 years in Tinigua Park, Colombia, I found that woolly monkeys tend to avoid open-degraded forests, where fruit production is generally lower than it is in mature forests. Diet and activity budgets were highly associated with temporal patterns of fruit production. Daily path length was positively correlated with group size and monthly fruit abundance, and negatively correlated with habitat quality. I found differences in activity budgets and the diet preferences of different age/sex classes. For example, adult males rest more and juveniles play more than other classes. Juveniles and adult females without infants look for arthropods more often than adult males and females with young infants, who showed the highest frequencies of fruit feeding. Dominant adult males were not consistently the most efficient foragers on fruits according to two different indexes. Most of these results are consistent with the expectations from strong intra-group competition for resources. However, females with infants received benefits during feeding similar to those of dominant adult males, which may be mediated by differential aggression from males to other group members (juveniles and females without infants).


Daily path length Dominance Lagothrix lagothricha Tinigua park 



I would like to thank all the field assistants who helped in gathering information, especially Maria Clara Castellanos, Alicia Medina, Carolina García, Monica Pineda, and Tatiana Samper. I thank Charles Janson, Patricia Wright, John G. Fleagle, Anthony DiFiore, Akisato Nishimura, Nicole Gibson, and an anonymous referee for their comments. This study was possible thanks to logistic support of CIEM (Centro de Investigaciones Ecológicas La Macarena) and the permits from Unidad de Parques Nacionales. Financial support came from the following institutions: La Fundación para la Promoción de la Investigación y la Tecnología (Banco de la República), Margot Marsh Foundation, Lincoln Park Zoo, Primate Conservation Inc., and IdeaWild.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyState University New YorkStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Depto. Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad de Los AndesBogotaColombia

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