• Detection of neopterin in the urine of captive and wild platyrrhines

      Sacco, Alexandra J.; Mayhew, Jessica A.; Watsa, Mrinalini; Erkenswick, Gideon; Binder, April K. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020)
      Background: Non-invasive biomarkers can facilitate health assessments in wild primate populations by reducing the need for direct access to animals. Neopterin is a biomarker that is a product of the cell-mediated immune response, with high levels being indicative of poor survival expectations in some cases. The measurement of urinary neopterin concentration (UNC) has been validated as a method for monitoring cell-mediated immune system activation in multiple catarrhine species, but to date there is no study testing its utility in the urine of platyrrhine species. In this study, we collected urine samples across three platyrrhine families including small captive populations of Leontopithecus rosalia and Pithecia pithecia, and larger wild populations of Leontocebus weddelli, Saguinus imperator, Alouatta seniculus, and Plecturocebus toppini, to evaluate a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the measurement of urinary neopterin in platyrrhines. Results: Our results revealed measured UNC fell within the sensitivity range of the assay in all urine samples collected from captive and wild platyrrhine study species via commercial ELISA, and results from several dilutions met expectations. We found significant differences in the mean UNC across all study species. Most notably, we observed higher UNC in the wild population of L. weddelli which is known to have two filarial nematode infections compared to S. imperator, which only have one. Conclusion: Our study confirms that neopterin is measurable via commercial ELISA in urine collected from captive and wild individuals of six genera of platyrrhines across three different families. These findings promote the future utility of UNC as a promising biomarker for field primatologists conducting research in Latin America to non-invasively evaluate cell-mediated immune system activation from urine. Keywords: Neopterin, Health monitoring, Platyrrhines, Immune function, Biomarker
    • Harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja) nesting at Refugio Amazonas, Tambopata, Peru feed on abundant disturbance-tolerant species

      Bowler, Mark; Couceiro, Daniel; Martinez, Rocio; Orihuela, Gabriela; Shoobridge, Juan Diego; Nycander, Eduardo; de Miranda, Everton B. P.; Tobler, Mathias W. (2020)
      The harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) is one of the main predators of arboreal mammals in the neotropics, affecting the ecology and behaviour these species. Knowledge of harpy eagle diets across their geographical range is patchy, the ability of harpy eagles to adapt to changing habitats is still open to question….
    • Terrestrial locomotion and other adaptive behaviors in howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) living in forest fragments

      Serio-Silva, J. C.; Ramirez-Julian, R.; Eppley, Timothy M.; Chapman, C. A.; Reyna, R.; Chapman, C. A. (Springer NatureNew York, 2019)
      Howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.) are arguably one of the most successful primates in coping with highly fragmented habitats because of their flexible, yet mainly folivorous, diet. While they are able to survive, many other arboreal primate species appear to gradually disappear from these anthropogenic landscapes....