Thermal imaging aids behavioural studies: the case of a diurnal Neotropical primate

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Emergence of new technology has broadened our understanding of species behaviour, even those that are common and well-studied. We report the use of a thermal camera (TC) on a diurnal Neotropical primate, the brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba). We describe the undocumented nocturnal activity, and present other contributions of the TC for the routine activities applied in the field. We were able to quickly locate groups and observe rare behaviours, such as interspecific interactions and the process of immigration. The TC allowed the location of fresh stool on the ground, ideal for non-invasive hormone measurements and seed dispersal studies. This device can be used to address many questions, particularly those combining behaviour and hormonal measurements, but may be unhelpful for surveys. We endorse its employment as it can be an invaluable tool for studying the behaviour of Neotropical primate species, even diurnal ones.

Cornfield effects on breeding and abundance of Oligoryzomys nigripes (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae)

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Small rodents rely on resource gathering during the breeding season to support their reproductive output and offspring survival. Since croplands may provide complementary food sources, we evaluated the influence of the presence of cornfield on the forest edge in Oligoryzomys nigripes (Olfers, 1818) abundance and breeding. We found that abundance, proportion of reproductive females and males, as well as the number of juveniles were higher in the cornfield-forest edges, with no seasonality, a pattern divergent from the seasonal reproduction described for the species. Therefore, our results supported the hypothesis of cornfields benefiting O. nigripes abundance and breeding success.

Efeitos do milharal na reprodução e abundância de Oligoryzomys nigripes (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae). Pequenos roedores dependem da aquisição de recursos para sustentar a reprodução e a sobrevivência da ninhada. Uma vez que plantações podem servir como fonte complementar de alimento, nós avaliamos a influência da presença de plantações de milho na borda da floresta sobre a abundância e a reprodução de Oligoryzomys nigripes (Olfers, 1818). Constatamos que a abundância, a proporção de indivíduos reprodutivos, assim como o número de juvenis foram maiores nas bordas dos campos de milharal, sem sazonalidade, um padrão divergente da reprodução sazonal descrita para a espécie. Nossos resultados suportam a hipótese de que as plantações de milho beneficiam a abundância e a atividade reprodutiva de O. nigripes.