Behavioral flexibility of a group of bearded capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) in the National Park of Brasilia (Brazil): consequences of cohabitation with visitors

Increasing urbanization and deforestation have enhanced the opportunities of contact between humans and monkeys and the impact of human activities on primate behavior is receiving growing attention. This Study explores whether activity budgets and diet of a group of capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) inhabiting the area of the swimming pools of the National Park of Brasilia is affected by the presence of visitors providing food to them. During one year, both in the dry and the wet seasons, we scored capuchins' behavior via scan sampling every ten minutes. Results showed that this group spent less time foraging for wild foods than other comparable groups living in similar habitats. Moreover. capuchins relied more on human food during the dry season, when pulpy fruits were less available, than in the wet season. Our findings confirm other studies on different monkey species that have shown that access to human food decreases the time spent foraging for wild food and the home range size. They also show that capuchins are able to modify their diet, to exploit alternative food Sources. and to change their activity budget in response to the availability of new food opportunities and to seasonal food availability.

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Sabbatini, G.
Staininati, M.
Tavares, M. C. H.
Visalberghi, E.
Instituto Internacional de Ecologia, São Carlos, SP , Brasile
Brazilian Journal of Biology (Impr.) 68 (2008): 685–693.
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Gloria Sabbatini's picture
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