• Intestinal helminths in wild Peruvian red uakari monkeys (Cacajao calvus ucayalii) in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon

      Conga, David F.; Bowler, Mark; Tantalean, Manuel; Montes, Daniel; Serra-Freire, Nicolau Maués; Mayor, Pedro (2014)
      …We examined 36 fecal samples from Peruvian red uakari monkeys (Cacajao calvus ucayalii ) collected from wild animals in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. Samples were positive for helminth infection. Nematodes egg: Strongyloididae, Trypanoxyuris sp., Spirurid, and a cestode egg were identified.
    • Low birthrates and high levels of female reproductive inactivity may characterize the reproductive biology of wild Peruvian red uakaris (Cacajao calvus ucayalii)

      Mayor, Pedro; Bowler, Mark (2015)
      ...We collected reproductive organs from wild uakari monkeys hunted for subsistence by indigenous hunters and examined them for embryos or fetuses. We extrapolated birth dates to test for breeding seasonality and calculated birthrates....
    • Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps: Composition, structure and implications for conservation and management

      Endress, Bryan A.; Horn, Christa M.; Gilmore, Michael P. (2013)
      Swamp forests dominated by the dioecious palm, Mauritia flexuosa, cover vast areas of the Amazon Basin and are poorly studied despite their recognized ecological and economic importance. This knowledge gap confounds current conservation and management efforts. In this study, we documented overstory structure and composition of M. flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) as part of a broader effort to understand their ecology and assist in developing best practices for multi-use management for the Maijuna, an indigenous group in Loreto, Peru.…
    • Molecular epidemiology of Trypanosomatids and Trypanosoma cruzi in primates from Peru

      Aysanoa, Esar; Mayor, Pedro; Mendoza, A. Patricia; Zariquiey, Carlos M.; Morales, E. Angelo; Pérez, Jocelyn G.; Bowler, Mark; Ventocilla, Julio A.; González, Carlos; Baldeviano, G. Christian; et al. (2017)
      We determined the prevalence rate and risk of infection of Trypanosoma cruzi and other trypanosomatids in Peruvian non-human primates (NHPs) in the wild (n = 126) and in different captive conditions (n = 183). Blood samples were collected on filter paper, FTA cards, or EDTA tubes and tested using a nested PCR protocol targeting the 24S? rRNA gene....
    • Morphology of the oxyurid nematodes Trypanoxyuris (T.) cacajao n. sp. and T. (T.) ucayalii n. sp. from the red uakari monkey Cacajao calvus ucayalii in the Peruvian Amazon

      Conga, D. F.; Giese, E. G.; Serra-Freire, N. M.; Bowler, Mark; Mayor, P. (2016)
      Cacajao calvus ucayalii (Thomas, 1928) (Primates: Pitheciidae), a subspecies endemic to the Peruvian Amazon, occurs in patchy and sometimes isolated populations in north-eastern Peru and is in a vulnerable situation, mainly due to habitat loss and hunting. This rareness and remote distribution means that, until now, parasitical studies have been limited. Based on optical and scanning electron microscopy of specimens of both sexes, we report two new species of Trypanoxyuris pinworms occurring in the large intestine of the Peruvian red uakari, namely Trypanoxyuris (Trypanoxyuris) cacajao and Trypanoxyuris (Trypanoxyuris) ucayalii. ...
    • Phenotypic plasticity in the timing of reproduction in Andean bears

      Appleton, R. D.; Van Horn, Russell C.; Noyce, K. V.; Spady, T. J.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Arcese, P. (2018)
      Many factors influence whether mammals reproduce seasonally or continuously but disentangling them can be challenging in free‐living species that are hard to observe. We described the seasonality of reproduction in Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) in NW Peru (6°26′S, 79°33′W) to test for phenotypic plasticity in response to extrinsic cues.
    • Portable sequencing as a teaching tool in conservation and biodiversity research

      Watsa, Mrinalini; Erkenswick, Gideon A.; Pomerantz, Aaron; Prost, Stefan (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2020)
      As biodiversity loss continues to accelerate, there is a critical need for education and biomonitoring across the globe. Portable technologies allow for in situ molecular biodiversity monitoring that has been historically out of reach for many researchers in habitat nations. In the realm of education, portable tools such as DNA sequencers facilitate in situ hands-on training in real-time sequencing and interpretation techniques. Here, we provide step-by-step protocols as a blueprint for a terrestrial conservation genetics field training program that uses low-cost, portable devices to conduct genomics-based training directly in biodiverse habitat countries.
    • Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi and other trypanosomatids in frequently-hunted wild mammals from the Peruvian Amazon

      Morales, E. Angelo; Mayor, Pedro; Bowler, Mark; Aysanoa, Esar; Pérez-Velez, Erika S.; Pérez, Jocelyn; Ventocilla, Julio A.; Baldeviano, G. Christian; Lescano, Andrés G. (2017)
      To better understand the ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon, we evaluated the prevalence of T. cruzi and other trypanosomatids in four orders of wild mammals hunted and consumed by inhabitants of three remote indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Of 300 wild mammals sampled, 115 (38.3%) were infected with trypanosomatids and 15 (5.0%) with T. cruzi....
    • Proximate causes of the red face of the bald uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus)

      Mayor, P.; Mamani, J.; Montes, D.; González-Crespo, C.; Sebastián, M. A.; Bowler, Mark (2015)
      In social species, such as primates, facial appearances transmit a variety of social signals. Although it is suggested that the intense red colour of the face of the bald uakari monkey might be an indicator of health, this hypothesis still has not been verified. This study describes the histological structure of the skin of the face in the bald uakari, compared with other non-red neotropical primates, to better understand the maintenance of its colour. The facial skin of the bald uakari monkey is characterized by a thinner epidermis, absence of melanin pigments and a high density of vascular capillaries that spread below the epidermis. These vascular capillaries are larger and more tortuous than in other neotropical primates. The skin of the face of the bald uakari monkey allows a direct external assessment of haematological status, suggesting that the colour of the face would be an honest indicator of health, but could also signal sexual or behavioural states.
    • Reducing human impacts on Andean bears in NW Peru through community-based conservation

      Young, Samantha; Van Horn, Russell C.; Glikman, Jenny A.; Nevin, Owen; Convery, Ian; Davis, Peter (Boydell & BrewerNewcastle, UK, 2019)
      Andean bears live throughout the tropical Andes in a large latitudinal and elevational gradient across diverse habitats. They are threatened throughout their range by habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and hunting, and in many places they overlap with human settlements and agricultural fields, creating competition or conflict for resources....
    • Refining reproductive parameters for modelling sustainability and extinction in hunted primate populations in the Amazon

      Bowler, Mark; Anderson, Matthew J.; Montes, Daniel; Pérez, Pedro; Mayor, Pedro; Fenton, Brock; Fenton, Brock (2014)
      Primates are frequently hunted in Amazonia. Assessing the sustainability of hunting is essential to conservation planning. The most-used sustainability model, the ‘Production Model’, and more recent spatial models, rely on basic reproductive parameters for accuracy. These parameters are often crudely estimated. To date, parameters used for the Amazon’s most-hunted primate, the woolly monkey (Lagothrix spp.), come from captive populations in the 1960s, when captive births were rare. Furthermore, woolly monkeys have since been split into five species. We provide reproductive parameters calculated by examining the reproductive organs of female Poeppig’s woolly monkeys (Lagothrix poeppigii), collected by hunters as part of their normal subsistence activity. Production was 0.48–0.54 young per female per year, and an interbirth interval of 22.3 to 25.2 months, similar to parameters from captive populations. However, breeding was seasonal, which imposes limits on the maximum reproductive rate attainable. We recommend the use of spatial models over the Production Model, since they are less sensitive to error in estimated reproductive rates. Further refinements to reproductive parameters are needed for most primate taxa. Methods like ours verify the suitability of captive reproductive rates for sustainability analysis and population modelling for populations under differing conditions of hunting pressure and seasonality. Without such research, population modelling is based largely on guesswork.
    • Rub-tree selection by Andean bears in the Peruvian dry forest

      Kleiner, Jack D.; Van Horn, Russell C.; Swenson, Jon E.; Steyaert, Sam M.J.G. (2018)
      To advance our knowledge on the rubbing behavior of Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus), we assessed characteristics of their rub-trees in the Peruvian tropical dry forest, where water is a rare and critical resource. We registered characteristics of rubbed and unrubbed trees and shrubs along bear trails in an area of approximately 100 km2 surrounding 7 waterholes in the western Andes foothills of Peru during austral summer 2014–2015....
    • Spatio-temporal patterns of Mauritia flexuosa fruit extraction in the Peruvian Amazon: Implications for conservation and sustainability

      Horn, Christa M.; Vargas Paredes, Victor H.; Gilmore, Michael P.; Endress, Bryan A. (2018)
      In the Amazon Basin, some non-timber forest products (NTFPs), such as the ecologically and economically important palm Mauritia flexuosa, are extracted intensively and across large areas – the ecological effect of which is unclear. In this study, we sought to better understand the scale and scope of M. flexuosa fruit harvest in the Peruvian Amazon, the destructive harvest of which has caused conservation concern for decades, by collecting data on the amounts and origins of the fruit entering the city of Iquitos, Peru – making harvest patterns spatially and temporally explicit for the first time....
    • Spatiotemporal hierarchical modelling of species richness and occupancy using camera trap data

      Tobler, Mathias W.; Zúñiga Hartley, Alfonso; Carrillo-Percastegui, Samia E.; Powell, George V. N. (2015)
      * Over the last two decades, a large number of camera trap surveys have been carried out around the world and camera traps have been proposed as an ideal tool for inventorying and monitoring medium to large-sized terrestrial vertebrates. However, few studies have analysed camera trap data at the community level. * We developed a multi-session multi-species occupancy model that allows us to obtain estimates for species richness and occupancy combining data from multiple camera trap surveys (sessions). By estimating species presence at the session-level and modelling detection probability and occupancy for each species and sessions as nested random effects, we could improve parameter estimates for each session, especially for species with sparse data. We developed two variants of our model: one was a binary latent states model while the other used a Royle–Nichols formulation for the relationship between detection probability and abundance. * We applied both models to data from eight camera trap surveys from south-eastern Peru including six study sites, 263 camera stations and 17 423 camera days. Sites covered protected areas, a logging concession and Brazil nut concessions. We included habitat (terra firme vs. floodplain) as a covariate for occupancy and trail vs. off-trail as a covariate for detection. * Among-camera heterogeneity was a serious problem for our data and the Royle–Nichols variant of our model had a much better fit than the binary-state variant. Both models resulted in similar species richness estimates showing that most of the sites contained intact large mammal communities. Detection probabilities and occupancy values were more variable across species than across sessions within species. Three species showed a habitat preference and four species showed preference or avoidance of trails. * Synthesis and applications. Our multi-session multi-species occupancy model provides improved estimates for species richness and occupancy for a large data set. Our model is ideally suited for integrating large numbers of camera trap data sets to investigate regional and/or temporal patterns in the distribution and composition of mammal communities in relation to natural or anthropogenic factors or to monitor mammal communities over time.
    • The socio-cultural importance of Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) and implications for multi-use management in two Maijuna communities of the Peruvian Amazon

      Gilmore, Michael P.; Endress, Bryan A.; Horn, Christa M. (2013)
      Background Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) is harvested throughout the Peruvian Amazon for subsistence and commercial purposes. Recent estimates suggest that residents of Iquitos, the largest city in the region, consume approximately 148.8 metric tons of aguaje fruit per month, the vast majority of which is harvested by felling and killing adult female trees. In this study, we sought to better understand and document the importance of M. flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) in two Maijuna indigenous communities to inform the sustainable management of this habitat and species. Methods Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and household surveys were carried out to assess the significance of aguajales and their associated plant and animal resources as well as to determine how the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed over time. Results Aguajales and their associated resources are culturally significant and useful to the Maijuna in a wide variety of ways. In addition to M. flexuosa, the Maijuna use over 60 different species of plants from aguajales. When M. flexuosa is in fruit, aguajales are important hunting areas with a total of 20 different animal species hunted. The Maijuna also have traditional beliefs about aguajales, believing that malevolent supernatural beings reside in them. Notably, the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed considerably over the years as aguaje fruit went from a subsistence item collected opportunistically from the ground to a market good destructively harvested beginning in the early 1990s. The Maijuna are concerned not only about how this has affected the future commercial harvest of aguaje but also about its effects on game animals given the importance of hunting to Maijuna cultural identity, subsistence, and income generation. Conclusions In order to meet the multiple socio-cultural and economic needs of the Maijuna, sustainable management efforts must be expanded to not only focus on the commercial harvest of aguaje but also other facets of their relationship with this habitat. Our study suggests that the research and development of multi-use forest management plans must not be restricted to commercial forest products and ecosystem services given that many communities rely on tropical forests for a wide range of non-market cultural, economic, and subsistence goods and services.