Capuchin monkeys and Agro-ecosystems Project, Boquete, Chiriqui province, Republic of Panama
Directed by Luz Loría Amores
Fundación Pro-Conservación de los Primates Panameños (FCPP)
In order to understand the behaviour of capuchin monkey Cebus spp. in agro-ecosystems, the presence and activities of this primate and the structure and composition of the tree community are determined at agricultural landscapes in highlands of Chiriquí Province. Sampling of presence / absence and direct observation are carry on to identify groups of capuchin monkeys with the use of camera traps in the canopy level for the first time in Boquete (OCS). Capuchin monkeys visit the agricultural landscapes with special interest in native trees but eventually could represent a problem for farmers if native forest is completely removed without taking in consideration to leave primate preferred trees, which could make capuchins to incur in the optional food available in the area (mostly corn). The project is the first in Panama trying to understand how farmers could manage problematic issues with their crops avoiding killing the animals.
We suggests that maintaining attractive and suitable native trees for Cebus spp. highlights as favourable attribute for the presence of this primate minimizing crop-riding effects and economical lost for the farmers. This information will help to formulate management alternatives that can be applied to facilitate the survival of white-faced capuchin monkeys and other animals in farmlands near forests.