• primate diversity;
  • habitat use;
  • density;
  • Bolivia


This report documents primate communities at two sites within Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in northeastern Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia. Diurnal line transects and incidental observations were employed to survey two field sites, Lago Caiman and Las Gamas, providing information on primate diversity, habitat preferences, relative abundance, and population density. Primate diversity at both sites was not particularly high, with six observed species: Callithrix argentata melanura, Aotus azarae, Cebus apella, Alouatta caraya, A. Seniculus, and Ateles paniscus chamek. Cebus showed no significant habitat preferences at Lago Caiman and was also more generalist in use of forest strata, whereas Ateles clearly preferred the upper levels of structurally tall forest. Callithrix argentata melanura was rarely encountered during surveys at Lago Caiman, where it preferred low vine forest. Both species of Alouatta showed restricted habitat use and were sympatric in Igapo forest in the Lago Caiman area. The most abundant primate at both field sites was Ateles, with density estimates reaching 32.1 individuals/km2 in the lowland forest at Lago Caiman, compared to 14.1 individuals/km2 for Cebus. Both Ateles and Cebus were absent from smaller patches of gallery forest at Las Gamas. These densities are compared with estimates from other Neotropical sites. The diversity of habitats and their different floristic composition may account for the numerical dominance of Ateles within the primate communities at both sites. Am. J. Primatol. 46:197–211, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.