Ranging pattern and use of space in a group of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) in a southeastern Colombian rainforest

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Abstract

We studied a group of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) bordering a lake in an eastern Colombian Amazon rainforest for 10 months. The group used an area of 182 ha located mainly on Pleistocene terrace forest and had no overlap with other howler home ranges. Home range use varied through the year as a consequence of fruit and leaf abundance. For example, during the fruit scarcity season the group used an area of flooded forest nearly exclusively, indicating that at least for a portion of the year they are habitat specialists. Two areas intensively used by the group were identified, representing 17.6 % of the home range, and within which 56.9 % of the feeding trees were located. Overall density of feeding trees within the group‘s home range was very low (1.12 trees/ha). Home range size, as well as mean length of daily ranges (1,150 m), is the largest reported for this species to date, and it is likely a consequence of the diminished productivity of the plant communities on poor soil. Our results give an interesting example of the ranging behavior of this primate, which clearly differs from previous descriptions of red howlers. Am. J. Primatol. 55:233–251, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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