Modelling spider monkeys Ateles spp. Gray, 1825: ecological responses and conservation implications to increased elevation

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S. Shanee


Spider monkeys (Ateles spp.) are among the most widely-distributed and endangered neotropical primate genera. Throughout their distribution expanding human populations and associated demands for land are causing widespread deforestation, especially in low-lying areas where many populations of spider monkeys are being pushed to high elevation sites with sub-optimal conditions. In this paper ecological data from a wide range of sources has been collected and examined to try to better understand and predict spider monkey ecological responses to high elevation areas with lower environmental carrying capacities. Results show a significant reduction in group and foraging party sizes with increased elevation. A general reduction in density is also noted with increasing elevation, while home range sizes remain static. It is recommended that these observations be taken into account when planning conservation actions and new protected areas, and further implications are also discussed.

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Author Biography

S. Shanee

Sam Shanee has worked in primate conservation and reintroduction for the past eight years in South America and Asia. He studied primate conservation at Oxford Brookes University and in 2007 co-founded the UK based NGO Neotropical Primate Conservation. He currently works in Peru researching the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey.