Ecology ofCallithrix kuhliiand a Review of Eastern Brazilian Marmosets


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Abstract

We provide data on wild Callithrix kuhlii, a little studied species. We describe their ecology, focusing on demography, diet, and ranging patterns in 8 groups studied from 1995 to 1999. The groups averaged 4.3 individuals, with 1 breeding female and 1–2 adult males, and reproduction was seasonal. Evidence from nonstudy groups indicated the possibility of polygynous group structure. We observed group formation and the transfer of adults between groups. The marmosets ate 20 species of fruit and nectar and 5 exudate species. Home ranges were 34–39 ha, and daily path lengths averaged 1498 m. We include our data in a comprehensive review of eastern Brazilian marmosets to characterize their ecology. Callithrix kuhlii ate more fruit species and less gum species, and had larger home ranges and daily path lengths versus those of most congeners. There was also a tradeoff between travel time and other behaviors. Species with smaller home ranges spent more time foraging and resting and less time traveling than the ones with larger ranges. Attributes consistent with all species included their reliance on gum during fruit scarcity and preference for disturbed habitat. We explored factors relating to the variation in diet and ranging patterns within the eastern Brazilian marmosets, in particular by considering the species in relation to elevation and the extent and proximity of their distribution to the sea. However, large intraspecific variation resulting in part from variable levels of anthropogenic disturbance across sites confounded our ability to verify trends corresponding to the geographic characteristics.

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