Dietary Flexibility, Behavioral Plasticity, and Survival in Fragments: Lessons from Translocated Howlers

  • Scott C. Silver
  • Laura K. Marsh


Examining the behavioral response of howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) to translocation may lend some insight into their ability to repopulate and persist in tropical forest fragments. In fragmented landscapes, forest patches may be large enough to sustain small numbers of individuals and social groups, but not at levels high enough for populations to persist solely in these patches. In fragmented forest landscapes, the ability to colonize unfamiliar forest patches is necessary to maintain demographic and genetic variability. In effect, translocated individuals successfully migrate to another fragment and have to depend upon their ability to include novel food items and strata. Survival depends on the level of dietary flexibility and behavioral plasticity.


Mature Leaf Forest Fragment Howler Monkey Fruit Abundance Diet Selection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott C. Silver
    • 1
  • Laura K. Marsh
    • 2
  1. 1.Queens Wildlife CenterWildlife Conservation SocietySt. FlushingUSA
  2. 2.Los Alamos National LaboratoryEcology Group (RRES-ECO)Los AlamosUSA

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