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Keywords:

  • applied ecology;
  • primate conservation;
  • home range estimator;
  • dissolved monthly polygons (DMP);
  • Atlantic forest

Abstract

The critically endangered black-faced lion tamarin, Leontopithecus caissara, has a restricted geographical distribution consisting of small mainland and island populations, each with distinct habitats in coastal southeastern Brazil. Necessary conservation management actions require an assessment of whether differences in habitats are reflected in use of space by the species. We studied two tamarin groups on the mainland at São Paulo state between August 2005 and March 2007, and compared the results with data from Superagui Island. Three home range estimators were used: minimum convex polygon (MCP), Kernel, and the new technique presented dissolved monthly polygons (DMP). These resulted, respectively, in home ranges of 345, 297, and 282ha for the 12-month duration of the study. Spatial overlap of mainland groups was extensive, whereas temporal overlap was not, a pattern that indicates resource partitioning is an important strategy to avoid intraspecific competition. L. caissara large home ranges seem to be dynamic, with constant incorporation of new areas and abandonment of others through time. The main difference between mainland and island groups is the amount and variety of sleeping sites. A better understanding of the home range sizes, day range lengths, and territorial behavior of this species will aid in developing better management strategies for its protection. Additionally, the presented DMP protocol is a useful improvement over the MCP method as it results in more realistic home range sizes for wildlife species. Am. J. Primatol. 73:1114–1126, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.