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

SM Junio 2011 282

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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