Monkey Forest Tales: More about baby monkeys’ behavior

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Dusky titi monkey father carrying his baby in his neck.

Today’s post is again about the baby monkey’s behavior. Looking a baby to growth is one of the best experiences in life and for me is the same if you look a baby monkey or a human baby, I enjoy both, even if I don’t have babies.

I think one of the reasons why I fell in love with monkeys was because I was looking at a baby’s behavior. I remember looking at them and making comparisons between what I was seeing and what I had witnessed from babies in my own family. And it’s not only about playing, but it’s also about how they start they live.

Most babies of the primate species in the study area started in a similar way, with small differences in which part of the mother’s body they are carried during the first days. Red howlers monkey moms carry their babies in the ventral part of their body near to their tail. After a few weeks and during the following months, babies move to the back near to their tail. One of the most amazing things about monkey babies is their strength to grasp their mothers, despite their small bodies, their hands are really strong.

On the other hand, moms of black-capped capuchins, Colombian squirrel monkeys and fathers of dusky titi monkeys and Brumback night monkeys carry their babies on their necks during the first weeks of their lives. After their first month, babies of these species are carried on mother’s or father’s back.

They start exploring the world and other members of their groups and families from the back of their mothers similar to what humans’ babies do from their mother’s arms, observing everything and trying to touch and reach everything.

They learn by imitating the behaviors of their mothers and other members of their groups. They learn to choose what to eat from their mother’s mouths, I had seen from al species in the study area how babies takes leave, flowers, fruits and even insects from their mother’s mouth and try it, and sometimes, when they are older (around 3 – 5 months) from other members of their groups.

Although most of them don’t get as messy as small kids end after trying some foods, the behavior is similar in the curiosity that monkey’s and human’s babies show about different foods, they smell it, bite it, and spit it out. A couple of times I had the opportunity to help with the caring of small monkeys, in a rehabilitation center in the Amazon and during a short period of time in the jungle when we found a baby after an infanticide event. In both cases, one of the things that surprise me the most was not only their instinct to grab you as hard as they can, as their lives depend on that, but also how they imitate you when trying new foods.

With this post and the last one I hope now you understand a bit more, why we say humans are also primates, we not only have a similar anatomy and physiology (in general terms), but also share the way in which we learn some of our social skills and how much we depend on our mothers to learn about the world in which we are growing.

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Monkey Forest Tales: About baby monkey’s behaviors

Today’s post is about babies and some baby’s behaviors. Twenty-two years ago, when I started to study monkeys in a primary continuous forest of Tinigua National Park, I worked with baby’s behavior of red howler monkeys. My focus was on bridging behavior, a behavior involving baby monkeys and their mothers when babies start moving independently.

At this moment in their development, they are clumsy and sometimes they need some help to pass forest canopy gaps, kind of like when human babies start walking and need you to take their hands to cross a street or climb up a stair. So, when the canopy forest has gaps, mainly their moms use their bodies or part of it to make a bridge between branches so the baby can cross by themselves or to climb on their backs to cross on their mom’s backs, depending on their age.

Although this behavior is mainly done by the baby’s mom, it also sometimes is done by baby’s sister and brothers or aunts. This behavior can be done with part of the body (an arm or tail) or with the whole body. This behavior frequency seems to be dependent on the forest structure. A nice description of this behavior is found in a paper by Youlatus (1993).

Although I only saw this behavior in the fragmented area of this project once, its possible that it is more common because the canopy forest in the area is more irregular and presents more challenges to young individual’s movements. I also have seen this behavior in woolly monkeys, and it has been reported in spider monkeys too (van Roosmalen 1985). Most of the other primate species in the study area seem not to make this behavior. For Colombian squirrel monkeys, dusky titi monkeys and black-capped capuchins, when an infant is unable to cross a canopy gap, babies cries and their mothers (father in the dusky titi monkey case) or juveniles come back for them and help them cross the gaps by carrying them. This could be an interesting topic for a study if you enjoy looking at baby monkeys.

Another important behavior that seems to increase the baby monkey’s confidence when starting to move independently is playing. A big part of babies and juveniles time is spent playing. Although it seems to reduce its frequency during seasons in which resource availability is low.

Some of the baby and juvenile’s games seem to help them to develop some of the strengths necessary for their daily activities. Games like hanging by their tails (howlers, woolly and spider monkeys) or hanging only by their hind limbs seems to give them confidence, and strength their tail and hind limbs muscles, while interacting with other members of their groups, such other infants and/or juveniles. This is specially used by howler, woolly and spider monkeys who use their tails to reach food resources otherwise inaccessible to them.

Playing is also important for babies and juveniles as it develops their skills to interact with other members of their group as well as to create bonds between individuals. Some games include sexual behaviors such as mounting. This game is usually seen in black-capped capuchins and Colombian squirrel monkeys’ games in which juveniles, sub-adults and sometimes infants too, mount one another. Mostly this game involves only male individuals and it seems to help them make coalitions that they will use later in life.

In my next post, I will talk more about the baby’s behavior and how the different species present in the study area vary in their development.

Van Roosmalen, M.G.M. 1985. Habitat preferences, diet, feeding strategy and social organization of the black spider monkey [Ateles paniscus paniscus Linnaeus 1758] in Surinam. Acta Amazonica 15, Suppl.: 7 – 238.

Youlatus, D. 1993. Passages within a discontinuous canopy: bridging in the red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus). Folia Primatologica 61: 144-147.

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Monkey Forest Tales: Importance of small fragments in highly fragmented areas

Figura 1 Xyomara Carretero-Pinzón. Decision Point

In this post, the importance of small fragments (less than 5 ha) in highly fragmented areas is highlighted. Traditionally small fragments importance for the survivorship and persistence of primate species has been diminished, except for a study of forest fragments in Africa (Chapman 2006).

In the study area, small fragments of less than 5 hectares are used by primate groups of all species as stepping stones during dispersion events, as part of their daily travels and as dormitories inside of the group’s home range. The use of these fragments seems to be seasonal and influenced by resource availability inside those small fragments and the general resource availability in the whole area.

For example, one of the small fragments, which has been surveyed for several years, has been used by solitary individuals of red howler monkeys, Colombian squirrel monkeys, and dusky titi monkeys as a stepping stone while dispersing in a pasture matrix with living fences. Black-capped capuchins have been observed crossing pastures towards small fragments, where they spend a couple of days before returning to the main forest fragment in which their territory is located.

During this dispersion events, an individual moves and search food in small fragments over several days while moving between fragments in search of a partner to form a new group. In addition to this, small fragments are used by all species as dormitories inside of their home range where their home range includes several fragments connected by living fences.

In addition, small fragments are used by all species in the study area to supplement species home range during the months in which fruit production in the area is reduced. In those months, all primate species travel long distances searching for fruits, using resources available in pastures, living fences and small fragments increasing the distances they travel daily. In the study area, part of these small fragments are located close to natural and artificial lakes that provides individuals of Colombian squirrel monkeys and black-capped capuchins with additional resources such as small frogs and aquatic insect not always available in their main territory.

Additional to primates, these small fragments also serve as stepping stones for birds movement as well as a source of food resources for birds, reptiles and other mammals. The giant anteater, tayras, collared peccaries as well as toucans, woodpeckers, parrots, snakes, and lizards have been observed using these small forest fragments as part of the movements in the landscape. Giant anteaters also used small fragments as dormitories, while tayras used both small fragments and pastures as feeding grounds.

In highly fragmented areas where primate species lives surrounded by human activities, small fragments have been traditionally used as a cover for livestock in large pastures. These fragments increase the heterogeneity of the landscape allowing wildlife persistence and helping wildlife move in the transformed matrix.

Management of biodiversity in highly fragmented areas benefits from the presence and incorporation of small fragments and additional structures such as living fences and isolated trees inside of pastures. Preservation and maintenance of small fragments is an important management action in highly fragmented areas that can be done cost/effectively allowing natural regeneration inside those small fragments.

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Monkey Forest Tales: A good father is important for reproductive success? A dusky titi monkey story

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Today’s post is focused on the demographic data collected over the years about a dusky titi monkey group. As mentioned in another post about this species, dusky titi monkeys are monogamous and the males are the ones who care for the babies during their first months passing the baby to the female only for feeding.

During the census of all our forest fragments, we collected data on the groups found and their composition. This data helps us to monitor the birth season of dusky titi monkeys, which is early in the year (most babies have been observed during December – January). As well as monitor what happens inside some groups that cannot be followed continuously. One of these groups of dusky titi monkeys has a male who seems to be particularly a good father.

The male of this group is always seen in close proximity of young members of the group and over the years we had been able to monitor at least two infants who have reached their subadult age. These individuals were first detected as infants born in 2004 and 2015, who reach their subadult age after 4 years.

Although we don’t have data of those subadults reproductive success, their success to grow and reach this age is a success for their father as most deaths occur during the first years of individuals of this species. Data from the cause of those infant deaths have not been determined, although we suspect some predation events. Dusky titi monkeys are able to give birth every year, however, not all infants reach the juvenile age and even less reach the subadult age.

This data is important, especially for an endemic species, whose distribution area is reduced and threatened by multiple human activities. In a large survey done in the study area, 22.8 % of the dusky titi monkeys were immatures (infants, juveniles and subadults), a small proportion of the population of these species.

A more detailed study on this demographic data is needed in order to make management actions that preserve this species for the future. But for now, we know that even in fragments of less than < 30 ha, there are groups that are able to contribute to the species population growth. Data from this species movement in the landscape also have shown the resilience of this endemic species to move between forest fragments using pastures, living fences and even crossing secondary roads to disperse.

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Monkey Forest Tales: Why monkey groups do fusion/ fission more often in fragmented areas than in continuous

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In this post, a story based on some of the observations that we had done over the past years in this project compared with observation done for the same species in a continuous area where I used to work some years before the start of this project.

In continuous area groups of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), black-capped capuchins (Sapajus apella) and Colombian squirrel monkeys (Saimiri cassiquiarensis albigena) usually move in a cohesive form, i.e. the group dispersion (distance between individuals of the same group) during foraging is short and you can observe most of the group in the same area feeding in the same tree or group of trees.

In fragmented areas were forest size has been reduced due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and where forest had been degraded through selective logging and livestock use of forest, groups of the same species have been observed dispersing more during feeding time, even divided into subgroups and moving separately for up to two days in the case of Colombian squirrel monkeys or just a few hours in the case of red howler monkey.

In Colombian squirrel monkeys, large groups (> more 25 individuals) living in small forest fragments, groups split for up to two days to forage and move independently. Subgroups are composed of females, males, and juveniles, commonly forming subgroups of 10 – 15 individuals. In the study area, this behavior is more common in the months where fruits are less available.

Observations of fusion/ fission patterns had also been observed for red howler monkeys and black-capped capuchins, with groups splitting in solitary individuals or females and juveniles in one subgroup and males and subadults in pairs or alone for up to few hours. In red howler monkeys, these subgroups are formed for just a couple of hours. While in black-capped capuchins we had observed individuals lost from their groups for several hours up to the next day, with intensive calling from the individuals separated from the group.

This pattern of fission/ fusion of groups is a common social structure pattern for other species, like spider monkeys and chimpanzees, but not in the species mentioned above. However, red howler monkeys, black-capped capuchins and Colombian squirrel monkeys live in more cohesive groups where the distance between individuals although variable are not characterized by this type of fission/ fusion structure.

Why this happens? Although not detailed data on the frequency of this behavior, it seems to be more frequent in fragmented areas, especially in forest fragments of less than 50 ha. This pattern can be influenced by resource availability and crowded populations observed in small forest fragments, although more data need to be collected.

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Monkey Forest Tales: A male Colombian squirrel monkey story, Spock

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A picture of Spock resting in a big tree in 2007.

Today’s post is about a male of Colombian squirrel monkey who was first observed in 2005. At that time this male was one of the residents and dominant adult males in a Colombian squirrel monkey group of 42 individuals. He was a male of more than 8 years, probably 10 years in 2005, because of his body features and old scars. He was called Spock because he had a small cut in his right ear, which makes his ear pointed looking like the Start Wars character of that name.

Colombian squirrel monkey groups are composed of several females (5 – 8 females) and a few resident males (3 – 5 males), forming reproductive groups that move and forage together. Additional to this type of group, Colombian squirrel monkey males form groups of only males called bachelor males. Bachelor groups moves and forage independently of a group composed of both sexes and only during the reproductive season (August – September in the study area), bachelor groups are observed following reproductive groups. During these month males become more aggressive and their body accumulates fat on shoulders and thighs that make them look like an American football player.

Males of this species start their reproductive life once they leave their natal groups as solitary males or in small bachelor groups usually formed by a couple of adult males and a few subadult males who move and forage together. Males become resident males usually after several months in which they follow a reproductive group and challenge resident males. In some cases, resident males don’t tolerate them easily and they got back to their solitary life or join other bachelor groups. Although not very common they also can join reproductive groups in the company of an adult female, we only know one case in the study area.

Dominance between males also change and aggression became a tool for males to fight their access to reproductive females. Spock was one of the resident males and a dominant one in one of the reproductive groups in the study area. He was a successful reproductive male in the years 2005 and 2006 where we observed copulating with several females who later those years produce a new baby.

In 2005 – 2007, he remains as one of the dominant males in the group we were following and usually moving close to the females. Colombian squirrel monkey groups move as a group in which females moves in the core of the group with babies and juveniles, while the males move more toward the periphery of the group. Spock used to move close to the core or in the front of the group and always close to the adult females of the group.

Spock was one of the males who fist adapted to our presence following the group and low us to be close to him (3 -5 meter, when at a height of 5 -8 meter, which is close for a wild squirrel monkey). We observed him with the same group until 2009 when one of the students in this project found a dead squirrel monkey who was identified as Spock. He died at an age of around 14 years old. No apparent reason for his death was found, his body didn’t show any marks of predation and when he was found his body was relatively fresh. Although there is not much data on how long Colombian squirrel money males live in the wild, data from males observed in the study area have shown a span of around 24 years form another male from the same group who was last observed in 2017. This male, Van Gogh, was a bit older than Spock when he was first observed and he was one of the least dominant males of the group in 2005, always moving in the back and periphery of the reproductive group.

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Monkey Forest Tale: What can you do to help improve the environment? Things anyone can do everywhere – Part 2: Compost

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Following the topic of my last post of what else can you do to help the planet apart from donating to organizations working to solve the Amazon burning, I’m going to talk about two simple things you can do at your home. These things can seem small but if a lot of people are doing it around the world, that really sums up for the better. As Jane Goodall, one of my role models said: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

No matter if you cook every day or just a few times, every time you cook you are generating garbage, by disposing of vegetables skins and residuals. If you cook every day this can make a big part of your waste and you really don’t know where it goes. But there is another way to use that waste to help the planet… making compost

Compost is the use of vegetable residues from cooking to produce soil. This is a process that most people think it requires big amounts of land/ space, however, it can be done in a small space such as a small plant pot, depending on the amount of cooking you do. I will explain the process in more detail and how you can do it even if you live in a small apartment without a balcony.

I will show you how I do it and give you the steps necessary for doing it in a small space below.

  1. Found a big enough plant pot, can be of plastic or ceramic, I have used both and both works very well.

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2. Get some black soil, same as the one you use for your plants

3. Collect all the vegetable skins and vegetable residues you dispose at your kitchen. You can include eggshells but not chicken bones, chicken skin, pieces of meat or any cooked meal.

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4. Put a 2 cm layer of black soil in the pot you are using to make your compost. This will help to reduce the liquid product of the decomposition of all the vegetable waste

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5. Add the vegetable waste cut in small pieces, the smaller the pieces the faster the decomposition

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6. Add another layer of black soil (around 1 cm) to cover all the vegetable waste you are trying to compost. This will help to reduce odors and flies around your pot

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7. Locate your compost pot near to an open window, in a balcony or your backyard. The place needs to be vented.

8. Repeat the process every time you have vegetable waste.

9. From time to time, put some water to keep good humidity in the soil, this will help the microbial fauna. They are the ones that make the decomposition.

The process to have new soil will last around 1 – 2 months depending on the amount of vegetable waste you produce. This soil can be used on the plants you have at your home.

One of the reasons why large forests like the Amazon or the gallery forest in my study area persist in very poor soils is because of the compost and nutrient recycling occurring during the decomposition process. Most people when seeing a big forest, think the soil under that forest is very rich and good for agriculture, however, that is not always true. In the Amazon as well as in the gallery forest of the Orinoquia, fertile soils remain near to watercourses and rivers. The rest of the areas only have a thin layer of black soil from which plants can get their nutrients. Those nutrients came from the decomposition of fruits, flowers and leaves fallen on the ground where microorganisms and fungi break the components and make them available for plants. So when you make compost at your home you are replicating that process on a small scale.

Although having houseplants at your home not necessarily will increase the amount of oxygen in your home. One plant cannot produce enough oxygen to overweight the amount of carbon dioxide that humans produce, their presence can give you wellbeing just by being there. It is true that all plants produce oxygen as part of their photosynthesis process and consume carbon dioxide in the same process. But they also produce carbon dioxide when they breathe. So, the balance of the amount of oxygen houseplant produce is not enough, but its presence can give you happiness.

I hope this post and the last post had taught you something new and motivate you to do some small changes and activities that can improve your wellbeing as well as the planet even if you are living in a city.

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Monkey Forest Tales: What can you do to help improve the environment? Things anyone can do everywhere – Part 1: 3 R’s

Unamas Agosto 2011 045As I mentioned in the last post, one of the main news over the past months (August 2019) was the burning of Amazon. If you were worried about it and where trying to think what else you can do apart from donating to organizations working to solve this problem in the Amazon when you are in a country far from the Amazon, I have some suggestions for you, most of which I practice myself, even when I’m living in an Amazon country.

The problems are not only the burning of the Amazon, but it’s also the degradation of our air quality, water sources, plastics, and climate change. Although a lot of these things look like big problems that mostly the government needs to tackle, the reality is that most of us can help a little bit by changing some of our daily life habits, even if you live in a big city surrounded by cement.

So, here are some of those small things that you can do and don’t cost you more than a little bit of your time, and will improve your life, your family life, and especially the life that future generations can have.

There is a wide concept link to recycling that has been taught but rarely applied, even less in daily life. This concept is the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. I will explain each one and put examples of how we can apply them in our daily life below. All of these are related with our shopping habits, not something many wants to know or apply because many people don’t like to be told how to do their shopping, but if you are really concern about the kind of world you want to leave to your kids, then maybe you should start thinking about this.

Reduce: this basically means to purchase less…plastic, cloths, and basically anything. This can also be practiced in our daily decisions, when we choose to buy a big bottle of cooking oil versus a small one, when we decide to buy a box of cookies but not the one which came with individual packages, and so on. It also applies when you see a new t-shirt in a shop and you think about having it, but back at your home you have a closet full of t-shirts and you only used a couple of them. I know it’s difficult but sometimes we should ask ourselves if that is really worth it. Probably this one is the one that is more difficult to apply but also, it’s the one that can save us a lot of money in the long-term.

Reuse: this means use the empty packages (plastic bottles, carton, paper, etc.) to make new things, or to use it for a different purpose than the one we buy it for. Careful with this, NOT use empty pesticide packages to carry water, food or drugs for people or animals (I saw people doing this in rural areas). This kind of packages needs to be disposed of in an appropriate way and there are companies in charge of dispose these items in the right way. Please don’t leave them in the forest or close to water sources, residues from these packages pollute water and soil and can affect people and animal health. If you need ideas of how to reuse empty packages, just search the internet, there are thousands of videos and post on how to convert those materials to nice decorations and useful tools.

Recycle: this means to use the materials of those empty packages to produce new products. So, what you do when you select and put these items at the supermarket containers, you are disposing of these elements so other companies can reprocess the materials to make new packages from used ones. We are just helping distribute materials that can be recycled to produce new products. Recycling implies a series or physical/ mechanical or chemical processes that need to be done in specific sites to be recycled. You can also earn some money if you collect these materials and take them to the recycling plant to sell them.

Tip 1: Buy smart, reuse articles as much as you can and recycle what you cannot reuse.

Benefits:

  • Reduce your expenses by buying more for less
  • Reduce your garbage, especially plastic envelopes, bags and bottles
  • Earn money
  • Reduce your footprint on the planet

 

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Monkey Forest Tales: What happens on the study area in relation to deforestation?

One of the biggest news over the past month (August 2019) was the increase of fires in the Amazon forest. Although not a rare event for people living, researching and interested in this incredible ecosystem, the problem this time was the increase in the amount of fires product of an increase in deforestation for pastures (extensive cattle ranching) and agro-industry products.

Traditionally, Amazon forest, as well as most of the gallery forest common in the Orinoquia, have been deforested following the same pattern, people cut the forest they want to convert to agriculture and/ or cattle ranching, pile the wood, let it dry and then burned, it’s the called slash and burn, a practice used to open land for new land uses. It’s also common in Africa and Asia and has been the traditional way humans had clear land. However, now the dimensions and scale at which this slash and burn land clearing practice is done is higher and motivated by the market demands for commodities.

In Colombia it has been used since pre-colonial times, the scale and the reasons to do it is what has changed over time. It is a practice still used in the deforestation frontiers of the Amazon and it’s also used in the Orinoquia not only to clear land but to open natural savannas for cattle ranching or agriculture. Pastures burning increase nutrients in the soil and natural pastures in the Orinoquian savannas are adapted to a certain amount of fire to produce new buds and regrowth, however, the fire cycle and the replacement of native pastures to introduced ones had change that pattern.

In the study area where this project is based, deforestation hasn’t been too high in the last decade, the last big area (around 25 ha of gallery forest) was cut at the end of 2003 for a new palm oil plantation. Most of the deforestation occurring in this specific area is the reduction of forest areas around the streams (gallery forest), mostly to expand pastures or for small crops of watermelon, pineapple, papaya, and pumpkin. This deforestation mainly affects watercourse that are used for the same landowners that cut the forest, which during the dry season needs to increase their expenses to bring water to those pastures that before used the stream water they reduce by reducing the forest area. This is an illegal practice that is poorly reinforced. According to our laws, the forest around watercourses of any caudal should be of at least 50 meters each side, however, this depends on landowners’ practices.

Additional deforestation had occurred near to secondary or tertiary roads as well as near the town, mostly as a consequence of “improving” infrastructure, causing a reduction of living fences important in the area for wildlife movement between different land uses. Around the town, approximately 10 ha, has been deforested due to road constructions and new house developments. This same situation on a bigger scale occurs in the nearby towns and the bigger city in the area, Villavicencio, where most of the swamp and gallery forest around watercourses are deforested to make new constructions of houses and roads. Most of these constructions had increased the risk of hunting, road kills, and predation of local wildlife that still persist in and around towns and the city in the region. A disorganize development pattern is causing higher pressures on the native wildlife living in forest relicts in and around towns and cities in the region. Although a lot should be done by the local governments, people’s awareness and understanding of the effect that this reduction of forest cover around watercourses can cause in their daily life as well as on water quality is one of the future goals of this project.

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Forest affected by tertiary road improvements causing disruption of wildlife crossing in 2011 in the study area.

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Monkey Forest Tales: About people in the area: how this project has impacted people perceptions over time – Part 2

Figura 1 Xyomara Carretero-Pinzón. Decision Point

This post is about the second family and how this project had changed their perceptions of monkeys and fauna in general. This story is about a family that I met when I first arrive at the main farm in which this project has been developed. They were the people in charge of the farm (names had changed to protect people in this story).

Pablo was good at handling cattle and horses, very considered with the people working with them, but he loves to take small parrots to sell and hunt from time to time and armadillo or something else, not because they didn’t get access to a protein source just because it’s part of the tradition in this area of Colombia. Marta his wife, was and still is an amazing cooker and a great person, but she also thought that forest animals were only for food and to get some profits. When I arrived, they have two girls, a teenager Diana and a baby girl Rosa, later a boy join the family. Diana started to visit the forest with me and learn about monkeys and other animals, but she never was too much into animals. Rosa grow up with me close to her, as I was living in the farm at that time. During those years I was collecting information about Colombian squirrel monkeys and spent my days following monkeys and my nights playing with Rosa.

In 2005, we started a small project with the landowners to plant fruit trees in the area next to the stream in front of the farmhouse. During that process and through some visits to the forest to see monkeys and birds Pablo start changing his behavior towards all animals. When Rosa was 3 years old, she also started to want to go with me anytime that I went to the forest. She was too small, but she loves animals, especially horses and started to ride at that time with her dad. Sometimes when I went to the forest for just a couple of hours, I take Rosa to the forest with me, I take notes about plants and insects and see monkeys while Rosa was with me.

Rosa went with her dad and me to plant trees and she grows up seeing the monkeys as some of her backyard neighbors who eat fruits and drops things from the trees from time to time when we were looking at them. They live on that farm for four more years in which we learn from each other’s and they became great support from this project. After they move to different farms over the years, Pablo introduces me to other farm owners and whenever was possible I visit those farms and talk about the importance of monkeys for the forest and farmers.

Rosa is now finishing her high school and one of her career options is related to the environment. Pablo is still managing a farm and on that farm, by his suggestion, the farm owner doesn’t allow hunting and try to preserve the forest and animals that inhabit those forest.

Although this project didn’t have a big component on education or has been focused on changing people’s behavior, it’s though the personal relationships that I and some students had built over the years that these families had changed their perceptions and behavior towards nature. Therefore, if you have a project near people sometimes just talking with them about life can lead to a change in people’s behavior towards nature and the effect our actions have on it.

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