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Keywords:

  • Northern muriquis;
  • Brachyteles hypoxanthus;
  • ground use;
  • terrestriality;
  • habituation;
  • conservation

Abstract

Many arboreal primates descend to the ground, a custom that may occur more frequently in disturbed habitats, and in the presence of researchers to whom the primates are habituated. In this paper, we describe opportunistic observations of ground use in two groups of northern muriquis (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) at the RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Members of both groups were observed drinking, resting, feeding, playing, and traveling on the ground to different degrees, and variation in the levels of habituation of the two groups may be responsible for the differences in the distribution of their terrestrial activities. The potential increase in vulnerability to predation or disease owing to ground use has implications for the conservation of this critically endangered species. Am. J. Primatol. 69:706–712, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.