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Conservation Status of Pygmy Marmosets (Cebuella Pygmaea) in Ecuador

  • Stella de la Torre
  • Pablo Yépez
  • Charles T. Snowdon
Chapter
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)

Abstract

Since 1996 we have studied eight populations of pygmy marmosets Cebuella pygmaea in northeastern Ecuador. Our data suggest that the habitat and diet specializations of pygmy marmosets make them particularly vulnerable to local extinction because of human activities. In periodical surveys we conducted of these populations, we found that pygmy marmosets were absent from disturbed habitats. We have also found a gradual decrease of population density and significant behavioral changes in pygmy marmosets living in areas affected by habitat destruction, human traffic, tourism, and human capture of marmosets. We evaluated the degree of habitat disturbance both at regional and local scales and have found that about 75–85% of the gallery forests inhabited by pygmy marmosets are affected by logging and agriculture. Based on our results, we propose to include pygmy marmosets in the list of Vulnerable species in Ecuador, based on the IUCN criterion A4 (c, d). This proposed change is one of the necessary steps we need to conserve Ecuadorian pygmy marmosets and their habitats. To achieve this aim we have also developed an on-going environmental education program directed to the children of the communities that live close to the pygmy marmoset populations as well as to children in urban areas.

Keywords

Group Size Home Range Home Range Size Habitat Destruction Forest Remnant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Resumen

Desde 1996 hasta el presente, hemos estudiado ocho poblaciones de leoncillos Cebuella pygmaea en el nororiente ecuatoriano. Nuestros datos sugieren que las especializaciones de hábitat y dieta de los leoncillos los hacen particularmente vulnerables a las actividades humanas. En censos realizados para estimar la densidad ecológica de los leoncillos en las poblaciones hemos registrado la ausencia de leoncillos en hábitats disturbados; también hemos registrado una disminución gradual de la densidad poblacional y cambios significativos en el comportamiento de leoncillos en áreas afectadas por alteración de hábitat, tráfico humano, turismo y captura de leoncillos. En una evaluación del grado de alteración de los hábitats a una escala regional y local encontramos que alrededor del 75–85% de los bosques de galería habitados por los leoncillos están afectados por tala y agricultura. Con base en estos resultados, proponemos incluir a los leoncillos en la lista de especies Vulnerables en el Ecuador, según el criterio A4 (c, d) de la UICN. Esta propuesta es uno de los pasos que debemos dar hacia la conservación de estos primates ecuatorianos y de sus hábitats. Para lograr este objetivo hemos también desarrollado un programa de educación ambiental, en marcha, dirigido a los niños de las comunidades adyacentes a las poblaciones de leoncillos y a niños de las áreas urbanas.

Resumo

Desde de 1996 nós temos estudado oito populações de sagüis-leãozinho Cebuella pygmaea no noroeste do Equador. Nossos dados sugerem que as especializações de habitat e dieta destes sagüis fazem deles particularmente vulneráveis à extinção local devido a atividades humanas. Em monitoramentos periódicos que conduzimos nestas populações, nós descobrimos que os sagüis-leãozinho estavam ausentes de habitats pertubados. Nós também encontramos um decréscimo da densidade populacional e mudanças comportamentais significativas nos sagüis vivendo em áreas afetadas por destruição de habitat, tráfego humano, turismo e captura humana dos sagüis. Nós avaliamos o grau de perturbação do habitat tanto na escala local como regional e descobrimos que cerca de 75–85% das florestas de galeria habitadas pelos sagüis-leãozinho foram afetadas por madeireiras ou agricultura. Baseados nos nosso resultados, nós propomos incluir os sagüis-leãozinho na lista de espécies vulneráveis no Equador, baseado no critério A4 (c, d) da IUCN. Esta mudança proposta é um dos passos necessários que necessitamos para conservar os sagüis-leãozinho equatorianos e seus habitats naturais. Para atingir este objetivo nós temos também desenvolvido um progama de educação ambiental em andamento direcionado as crianças das comunidades que vivem próximas as populações de sagüis-leãozinho tanto quanto para crianças em áreas urbanas.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful for the support from the following institutions: Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment, Wisconsin Regional Primate Center (NIH Grant RR00167), Tiputini Biological Station, Transturi, Neotropic Turis, Selva Viva and Sacha Lodge. We thank Delfín Payaguaje, Alfredo Payaguaje, José Payaguaje, Daniel Payaguaje, Lucía de la Torre, Monserrat Bejarano, Fernanda Tomaselli, Hernán Castaneda, Santiago Molina, Beatriz Romero, Margarita Brandt, André Izurieta and Carolina Proaño for their help in the field work. We thank Susan Ford and Lucía de la Torre for their valuable help with the figures of this paper. Our research was supported by NIH Grant MH 29775 and National Geographic Society Grant 5806-96, with additional support from the Primate Action Funds/Conservation International, Milwaukee Zoological Society, the Tinker-Nave Fund, the University of Wisconsin Davis Fund and the Latin American Studies Program in American Universities, LASPAU.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stella de la Torre
    • 1
  • Pablo Yépez
  • Charles T. Snowdon
  1. 1.Universidad San Francisco de QuitoQuitoEcuador

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