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Patch Use and Patch Depletion By the Spider and Howling Monkeys of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica

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Patch depletion is an assumption that underlies many behavioural ecological models, yet it has rarely been examined. The evidence presented here suggests that the spider and howling monkeys of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica use food resources that occur in patches and generally deplete the patches they use. However, some types of patches (e.g. large fruiting trees for spider monkeys, and trees used as sources of leaves for howlers) are not depleted by the feeding activity of primates. An examination of which types of patches are depleted and the manner in which depletion likely occurs, allows an assessment of possible factors underlying the different types of social organizations in these species.

Affiliations: 1: (Departments of Anthropology and Zoology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alb. Canada T6G 2E1)


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