Advertisement

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 137, Issue 1–3, pp 301–313 | Cite as

Assessment of environmental impacts of a colony of free-ranging rhesus monkeys (Macca mulatta) on Morgan Island, South Carolina

  • Jeanette L. Klopchin
  • Jill R. Stewart
  • Laura F. Webster
  • Paul A. Sandifer
Article

Abstract

Morgan Island, located within the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve in South Carolina, is home to the only free-ranging colony of rhesus monkeys (Macca mulatta) in the continental United States. The purpose of this study was to assess environmental impacts of the monkey colony on water quality in adjacent tidal creeks and on island vegetation. Three tidal creeks were sampled: Morgan Creek, adjacent to the monkey colony; Back Creek, on Morgan Island not adjacent to the colony; and Rock Creek, on a nearby island unoccupied by monkeys. Temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and fecal coliform bacteria were measured six times at three sites in each of these creeks, and vegetation change analysis was conducted in a geographic information system using satellite imagery. Results showed elevated fecal coliform concentrations in the Morgan Creek site immediately adjacent to the colony, though no samples exceeded the standard set for recreational water use. Ribotyping reconnaissance matched four Escherichia coli isolates from Morgan and Back Creeks to the monkeys, identifying the colony as one source of fecal coliform bacteria, though relative source loadings could not be quantified. Significant differences were not observed between ammonia or orthophosphate levels in Morgan Creek relative to the other creeks tested; and vegetation change analysis showed a 35% increase in canopy cover between 1979 and 1999. Overall, these results suggest that the rhesus colony’s environmental impacts are localized and minimal. Results from this study provide baseline data on Morgan Island and may be useful in management decisions regarding the future of the monkey colony.

Keywords

ACE basin Morgan Island Rhesus monkey Fecal coliforms Water quality 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ace Basin Final Management Plan (1992). US Department of Commerce, NOAA. Washington DC: NOS.Google Scholar
  2. American Public Health Association (APHA) (1998). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (20th ed.). Washington D.C.: American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, K. L., Whitlock, J. E., & Harwood, V. J. (2005). Persistence and differential survival of fecal indicator bacteria in subtropical waters and sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71, 3041–3048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyles, R. H., Jr. (2004). Issues and implications associated with maintaining a Rhesus monkey breeding colony within the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve. S.C. Department of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  5. Bricker, S. B., Clement, C. G., Pirhalla, D. E., Orlando, S. P., & Farrow, D. R. G. (1999). National estuarine eutrophication assessment: Effects of nutrient enrichment in the nation’s estuaries NOAA. Silver Spring, MD: National Ocean Service, Special Projects Office and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.Google Scholar
  6. Burkhardt, W. III, Calci, K. R., Watkins, W. D., Rippey, S. R., & Chirtel, S. J. (2000). Inactivation of indicator microorganisms in estuarine waters. Water Resources, 34, 2207–2214.Google Scholar
  7. Crowther, J., Kay, D., & Wyer, M. D. (2001). Relationships between microbial water quality and environmental conditions in coastal recreational waters: The Fylde Coast, UK. Water Research, 35, 4029–4038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gibson, J. J. (2002). Report to the Executive Board of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources: Risks to inhabitants of Beaufort Country from the presence of Rhesus monkeys on Morgan Island.Google Scholar
  9. Holland, A. F., Sanger, D. M., Gawle, C. P., Lerber, S. B., Santiago, M. S., Riekerk, G. H. M., et al. (2004). Linkages between tidal creek ecosystems and the landscape and demographic attributes of their watersheds. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 298, 151–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jenkins, M. B., Hartel, P. G., Olexa, T. J., & Stuedemann, J. A. (2003). Putative temporal variability of Escherichia coli ribotypes from yearling steers. Journal of Environmental Quality, 32, 305–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Manual of Clinical Microbiology (1991) 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Microbiology.Google Scholar
  12. McKenzie, M. D. (2004). Morgan Island Management Plan. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  13. Morgan Island Task Force (2002). Identification of issues associated with maintaining a lease agreement with the SC DNR and LABs of Virginia in support of a Rhesus monkey breeding colony on Morgan Island South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  14. National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) (2005). Ace Basin Reserve, South Carolina. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from http://www.nerrs.noaa.gov/ACEBasin/welcome.html.
  15. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (1995). NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP): Guidance for regional implementation. NOAA Technical report NMFS 123. U. S. Department of Commerce.Google Scholar
  16. Parveen, S., Portier, K. M., Robinson, K. E, & Tamplin, M. L. (1999). Discriminant analysis of ribotype profiles of E. coli for differentiating human and nonhuman sources of fecal pollution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65, 3142–3147.Google Scholar
  17. Simpson J. M., Santo Domingo, J. W., & Reasoner, D. J. (2002). Microbial source tracking: State of the science. Environmental Science and Technology, 36, 5279–5288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water (SCDHEC) (2001). Shellfish Management Area 14: 2001 Annual Update.Google Scholar
  19. South Carolina Estuarine and Coastal Assessment Program (SCECAP) (2003). Water quality: Fecal coliform. http://water.dnr.state.sc.us/marine/scecap/findings_wq.htm.
  20. Taub, D. M., & Mehlman, P. T. (1989). Development of the Morgan Island rhesus monkey colony. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal, 8, 159–169.Google Scholar
  21. Upchurch, S. (2002). Research needs for Morgan Island. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  22. [UPR UCM] University of Puerto Rico, Unit of Comparative Medicine (2005). Cayo Santiago today. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from http://ucm.rcm.upr.edu/cayotoday.html.
  23. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2004). National Coastal Condition Report II. EPA-620/R-03/002. Washington, DC: Office of Research and Development/Office of Water. 286 pp. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from http://www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/nccr2/.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanette L. Klopchin
    • 1
  • Jill R. Stewart
    • 2
  • Laura F. Webster
    • 2
  • Paul A. Sandifer
    • 3
  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular ResearchNOAACharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Hollings Marine LaboratoryNOAACharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations