, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 141–147 | Cite as

Predatory threat of harpy eagles for yellow-breasted capuchin monkeys in the Atlantic Forest

  • Priscila SusckeEmail author
  • Michele Verderane
  • Robson Santos de Oliveira
  • Irene Delval
  • Marcelo Fernández-Bolaños
  • Patrícia Izar
Original Article


We describe seven encounters between different harpy eagle individuals (Harpia harpyja) and a group of yellow-breasted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus xanthosternos) in Una Biological Reserve. These interactions lasted 58 min on average. In each of those encounters, the capuchin monkeys used particular behavioral strategies against the harpy eagle that were not employed in reaction to other aerial predators. We did not observe any successful predation events, but after one of those encounters an infant disappeared from the capuchin group. As a whole, these observations indicate that the presence of harpy eagles in the group’s home range increases predation risk for capuchin monkeys. The present report also suggests a reoccupation by H. harpyja of this area, as no previous recent records identify harpy eagle occurrence in Una Biological Reserve.


Harpia harpyja Sapajus xanthosternos Antipredator behavior Alarm call Predation risk Prey–predator interaction 



We thank the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) for permission to conduct research in the Una Biological Reserve. We thank Dr. Tânia Sanaiotti for the classification of harpy eagle specimens by sex/age. We thank the reviewer Adrian Barnett for helpful comments and his careful review. We also thank Olga Fernández-Soriano and Jessica Lynch Alfaro for their English supervision. São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) granted a doctoral fellowship (PS: 10/51252-1), a postdoctoral fellowship (MV: 12/20107-1), and additional financial support (PI: 10/51455-0) for this research. Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) granted a postdoctoral fellowship (MV: 20131537).

Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (PS: 10/51252-1; PI: 10/51455-1 and MV: 12/20107-1) and by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (MV: 20131537).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable national and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. We followed the laws and protocols of Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. All research reported in this manuscript was authorized by ICMBio, including the capture of individuals for radio collar attachment and research within the Rebio Una (license numbers 22927-3, 22960-5 and 38939-1, respectively).

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (WMV 21583 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (WMV 16875 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (WMV 2923 kb)

Supplementary material 4 (WMV 7769 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (WMV 8747 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priscila Suscke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michele Verderane
    • 1
  • Robson Santos de Oliveira
    • 2
  • Irene Delval
    • 1
  • Marcelo Fernández-Bolaños
    • 1
  • Patrícia Izar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Una Biological ReserveUnaBrazil

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