The use of a mixed rubber landscape by tufted-ear marmosets
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With the loss and fragmentation of tropical forests, the survival of primates depends on their ability to adapt to human-introduced modifications in their habitat. Marmosets are known for their ecological and behavioral plasticity and have been registered in various agricultural landscapes. Our goal was to describe the ecology of tufted-ear marmosets (Callithrix sp.) in a rubber/forest landscape, monitoring their use of habitat and diet. We followed two groups using radio telemetry and visual observations for nine months at the Michelin plantation Ltd. in Bahia, Brazil. Both groups used mainly pioneer forest and rubber with pioneer vegetation more than expected according to availability, even though they explored all types of vegetation. Rubber monocultures act as corridors for marmoset locomotion among more suitable habitats. Feeding, gummivory and socialization were mainly performed in the pioneer forest (with or without rubber), in which most sleeping sites and food sources were found. Groups of marmosets can incorporate agroforest matrixes to their area of use and activity patterns. Maintenance of marmosets in fragmented landscapes might be favored by their diet flexibility, with the use of resources such as gum and fruit, including exotic plants. Although known for their ecological flexibility, marmosets do require certain resources to be present in native habitat to adapt to agricultural landscapes. Patches of forest within a rubber landscape and pioneer vegetation in the rubber inter-rows should be considered to maintain populations of Callithrix in rubber landscapes.
KeywordsCallithrichids Agroforests Fragmentation Vegetation use
We would like to thank Michelin plantations Ltd. for logistical support and for the grant to R. Martinez that made possible to count on L. Neves for essential technical assistance during our fieldwork. A.S.F. had an MSc Grant from the Comissão de Aperfeiçõamento Profissional do Ensino Superior (CAPES). The State University of Santa Cruz provided financial support. Ariane Ferreira and Jiómario Souza helped in the field. Jose Lima and Larissa Rocha identified most of the collected plants. Veterinarian Paula Reis acted as the main person responsible for capture of the marmosets and medical procedures. Juliana Monteiro helped with data analysis. Thanks to Camila Cassano, Gastón Giné, Nayara Cardoso, Gustavo Canale, Leonardo Neves and Kevin Flesher for suggestions and corrections to the original manuscript. This research complies with all Brazilian laws and regulations for working with wild animals, and was approved by the National Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), license number 37876-1.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This research was approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Welfare of UESC, and complies with all ethical regulations regarding animal manipulation in the field.
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