Monkey Forest Tales: Monkeys strategies to survive in the study area

In today’s post we are going to discuss some of monkeys strategies to survive in the fragmented study area. Each monkey species responds in different ways to the transformation of their habitat as well as how to use the new habitats surrounding them.
For example, in the study area dusty titi monkeys responds differently depending on how big are the forest fragments in which they live, how much people live around and how big are the pastures or crops present in the area. Also, their use of living fences during their daily activities varies according to the variables explained before. So in areas with small (10 – 50 ha) and medium (50 – 100 ha) forest fragments they use living fences occasionally and mainly to move from one fragment to another, while in areas closer to towns and tiny fragments (less than 10 ha) they use living fences and isolated trees more often and even during the day they rest and groom while in those living fences.
Red howler monkeys, Colombian squirrel monkeys and black-capped capuchins are more flexible and use crops, isolates trees, living fences, small fragments and in some cases even house roofs as part of their territories and in some cases this is why they become a problem in some areas.
Those differences are related with each monkeys species behavior and ecology. So, what can we do to improve their probabilities to survive in those fragmented – productive areas. First and probably the most important action any landowner can do is to protect forest areas, especially those around water courses that not only allows monkeys, but other wildlife to survive but also provides services to their crops and domestic animals, such as water and pollinators.
As we have mentioned before, presence of living fences and isolated trees are important to improve connectivity of forest fragments in agricultural areas. In urban areas is important to not only allow animals, including monkeys, to access natural vegetation present in those areas, usually around water courses, but also provide canopy bridges and other wildlife passes. In the study area, canopy bridges are important species on tertiary and secondary roads. However, most of the canopy bridges observes in some areas of the study area of these project doesn´t seems to consider basic features of the animal such as size and weight.
A preliminary analysis done for the study area of this project and some of the towns nearby have shown that up to know abundance of all diurnal species depend mainly on how big the forest fragments are and how far those fragments are from towns and cities combined (Carretero-Pinzón, 2016). This is an important point when planning conservation areas for all the monkeys species present in the study area and give some basic guidance on how land use (crops, roads, infrastructure can be planned) in a way that doesn’t interrupt and degrade more the already degraded areas present in the study area.
Carretero-Pinzón, 2016. Conservation planning for primate communities in rapidly transforming landscapes. Doctorate Thesis. The University of Queensland.
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