Behavioural and ecological aspects of black tufted-ear marmosets, Callithrix penicillata (Geoffroy, 1812) (Primates: Callitrichidae) in a semi-urban environment

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Santos, M ; Duarte, M ; Young, RJ
  • Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira de Etologia

The black tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) is a small Neotropical primate, which lives in various types of environments from Cerrado (Brazilian savannah), Atlantic forest to urban areas. Research shows that food availability influences home range size, group size, population density and the behaviour of marmoset groups in the wild. The objective of this study was to investigate the behaviour of C. penicillata in an urbanized habitat, and the influence of (estimated) food availability on home range size, group size and population density. This study was performed through direct behavioural observation (84 hours) on four wild groups of marmosets living within the grounds of Belo Horizonte Zoological garden, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The results show that, despite living in an urban habitat, these marmosets presented home range size (2.85ha), group size (mean=5.7 ind.) and population density (2.19 ind/ha) values in the range found in wild-living conspecifics. The animals studied spent a considerable percentage of their time travelling (22.45%); resting (16.58%), inactive alert (14.95%) and feeding (6.74%). These results showed that behavioural activity repertoires were also found to be similar to wild-living conspecifics and therefore demonstrate the species adaptation capacity in urban environment.
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