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PREDATOR INFLUENCE ON GOLDEN LION TAMARIN NEST CHOICE AND PRESLEEP BEHAVIOR

By Samuel Patrick Franklin

Abstract

Primate sleeping site choices and cryptic pre-retirement behaviors presumably aid survival by reducing a predator's ability to find and access prey. I examined presleep behaviors in a population of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) that recently suffered heavy losses from predators. I analyzed existing sleeping site data to determine whether groups at higher risk of predation, as measured by the number of observed encounters with potential predators, changed den sites more frequently than groups at lower risk. Additionally, I evaluated scent marking data to resolve whether study individuals decreased scent marking just prior to retiring. The predator encounter interval was not a significant predictor of the rate with which social groups changed den sites and study individuals significantly increased scent marking just prior to retiring. Consequently, it appears that after multiple generations without exposure to heavy predation pressure the tamarins in this isolated population fail to alter their behavior appropriately to mitigate predation risk

Topics: Biology, Ecology, golden lion tamarin, predation, sleeping site, nest, den, scent marking
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:drum.lib.umd.edu:1903/1388
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