Habitat Exploitation by Free-ranging Saguinus niger in Eastern Amazonia

  • Ana Cristina M. Oliveira
  • Stephen F. FerrariEmail author


We monitored the foraging behavior of the members of a group of black-handed tamarins (Saguinus niger) at a site in eastern Amazonia. Their diet was frugivorous-insectivorous, but also included pod exudate of Parkia pendula. The focal group used all 3 types of forest—primary, logged, and secondary— in all months, but differentially between seasons. In the dry season, tamarins spent more than half of activity time in primary forest and less than a third in secondary forest whereas during the wet season, the proportions were reversed. Data on resource abundance indicated that the shift in habitat preference is related to a seasonal change in the distribution of fruit sources, with a larger number of species and individuals fruiting during the wet season. We recorded no such variation in the abundance of arthropods. While using a larger area, including more secondary forest, during the wet season, the group traveled significantly shorter distances each day, reflecting the availability of a larger number of fruit sources. Overall, the results reemphasize the ecological and behavioral flexibility of Saguinus niger and their ability to cope with habitat disturbance.


diet ecological flexibility foraging strategies ranging behavior 



The National Research Council (CNPq) of the Brazilian government and the Institute for Amazonian Research (IPAM) supported this research. We thank Luíz Carlos of the Goeldi Museum, Belém, Paulo Henrique Castro, the Brazilian National Primate Centre (CENP/Ananindeua), and 2 reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Cristina M. Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen F. Ferrari
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Zoologia de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da AmazôniaBelémBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de SergipeSão CristóvãoBrazil

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