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ESR 48:235-246 (2022)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01195

Long-term assessment of the translocation of an endangered primate into an agroforestry system

Montserrat Franquesa-Soler1,2,3, John F. Aristizabal2,4,5,*, Ellen Andresen3, Itsaso Vélez del Burgo6, Aralisa Shedden-González7, Ernesto Rodríguez-Luna8

1Facultad de Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, C.P. 72410 Puebla, México
2Miku Conservación AC, C.P. 91056 Xalapa, Veracruz, México
3Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, C.P. 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, México
4Departamento de Ciencias Químico Biológicas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, C.P. 32310 Ciudad Juárez, México
5Laboratorio de Ecología de Bosques Tropicales y Primatología (LEBTYP), Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Los Andes, C.P. 111711 Bogotá D.C., Colombia
6Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center, Lwiro Village South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
7Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK
8Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana, C.P. 91000 Xalapa, México
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Translocation is increasingly being used as a conservation tool in wildlife management, but long-term assessments of the animals’ establishment in the new habitat are rarely done. In addition, finding protected areas for translocations can often be a limitation, but habitat patches managed for productive purposes could potentially be used for translocations. Here, we present a translocation case study of the Endangered Mexican howler monkey Alouatta palliata mexicana into a forest fragment managed as an agroforest in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve (Mexico). We compared the behavior of the translocated focal group 6 yr after translocation with that observed 1 yr after translocation (Year 1 vs. Year 6), and with reference parameters for conserved forest. We also examined the 14 yr trajectory of the translocated population through published data. We found that in Year 6, monkeys spent less time on locomotion and more time consuming fruit than in Year 1. The focal group in Year 6 had doubled its activity area compared to Year 1. All behavioral parameters during Year 6 were similar to those reported for the species in conserved forest. During the first 14 yr, the translocated population increased at a rate of 1.29 ind. yr-1. We conclude that this translocation succeeded in establishing a thriving population and that certain agroforestry systems may be adequate habitat for primate translocations. We also discuss how the translocation of howler monkeys into defaunated habitats might help restore ecological functions associated with these primates, such as the dispersal of large-seeded plants. Long-term information on successful primate translocations has high practical value for designing adequate conservation strategies in anthropogenic landscapes.


KEY WORDS: Alouatta palliata mexicana · Primate conservation · Animal conservation · Defaunation · Reintroduction · Wildlife management · Ornamental palm oil · Community managed forest · Agroecosystem


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Cite this article as: Franquesa-Soler M, Aristizabal JF, Andresen E, Vélez del Burgo I, Shedden-González A, Rodríguez-Luna E (2022) Long-term assessment of the translocation of an endangered primate into an agroforestry system. Endang Species Res 48:235-246. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01195

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