Challenge of neotropical frugivory: Travel patterns of spider monkeys and bearded sakis



We compared travel patterns of two neotropical frugivores, Ateles paniscus (black spider monkeys) and Chiropotes satanas (bearded sakis), during a 6-month study at Raleighvallen-Voltzberg Nature Reserve in Surinam. Ateles were typically found in small foraging parties that changed in size and composition throughout the day. Chiropotes troops moved from one feeding area to the next, fragmenting “locally” when they entered an area with more than one feeding tree. Chiropotes moved through fewer half-hectare quadrats before encountering a feeding tree, and were more likely to locate multiple trees per quadrat than were Ateles. Several investigators have suggested that fission-fusion travel patterns (sensu Ateles and Pan) have the potential to reduce feeding competition among troop members. We suggest that even slight modifications in the size and composition of foraging parties, such as “local” temporary troop fragmentation, have the same effect, and may be common among frugivorous primates. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.