Abnormal Pelage Color in an Isolated Population of Alouatta guariba clamitans Cabrera, 1940 in South Brazil

  • Vanessa B. Fortes
  • Júlio César Bicca-Marques


We located 4 brown howlers (1 adult male, 2 adult females, and 1 juvenile male) showing abnormally lighter pelage in 3 social groups comprising 5, 6, and 9 individuals in a 20 ha-forest fragment in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Two additional groups composed only of normally colored individuals also live in the fragment, which is isolated from nearby fragments by 267–1009 m. They were the only brown howlers with abnormal pelage color out of a total of 386 individuals belonging to 67 groups in 21 fragments in the 5876-ha study area. The isolation of the forest fragment, its high howler density (2.2 individuals⁄ha), and large group size (8.8 ± 2.4 individuals) may decrease the likelihood of successful immigration into the population, leading to an increased probability of inbreeding that may facilitate the expression of rare alleles.


conservation dispersal gene flow inbreeding isolation 



We thank Cel. Aluísio Santiago Ramos Filho, Commander of the Campo de Instrução de Santa Maria, for logistical support and permission to conduct this research at CISM. We also thank Colin Groves and an anonymous reviewer for critical comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa B. Fortes
    • 1
  • Júlio César Bicca-Marques
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade Comunitária Regional de ChapecóChapecóBrazil
  2. 2.Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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