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Consequences of Joint-Territoriality in a Mixed-Species Group of Tamarin Monkeys

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Groups of saddle-back (Saguinus fuscicollis) as moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax) in a western Amazonian forest jointly defended home ranges larger than 100 ha, which were held in common throughout the year. Resources were defended by direct exploitation in extensive areas shared with other groups, or through intensive and frequent intergroup interactions along territorial boundaries. These interactions were expressed primarily during intergroup encounters, and affected the use of space, movements, time budget, and foraging success of tamarins. During encounters, animals of both species spent more time in energetically costly activities, such as rapid travel and intergroup chases, and less time in energetically positive activities, such as feeding and foraging. In addition, foraging success per unit of foraging effort within overlapping areas of the range periphery was lower than in exclusive areas of the range centre, particularly for saddle-back tamarins. The time and energy allocated by moustached tamarins to boundary contests was considerably greater than that of saddle-backs, despite the fact that only the latter species increased its foraging efficiency by shifting from exclusive areas in the group's range to those shared by other groups. This is probably because of saddle-back's greater use of depletable food supplies, such as small fruit patches and small microhabitats containing embedded prey items. These benefits are likely to justify the substantial amount of time and energy invested in territorial defence for both saddle-backs and moustached tamarins, but appeared to be highly asymmetric between species.

Affiliations: 1: (Museu Goeldi, Departamento de Zoologia, Cx. Postal 399, Belém, Pará 66.040, Brazil


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