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Behavioral and fecal hormone correlates of energetic condition of golden-headed lion tamarins in degraded forest fragments of South-Bahia

Habitat fragmentation has altered the availability of food resources for many species, which along with other factors determines an individual’s energetic condition and therefore its fitness. An animal’s energetic condition, which results from the balance of energy acquisition and expenditure, is largely modulated by behavioral, psychological and environmental factors, which in turn, are affected by anthropogenic disturbances. Due to the endangered status of certain populations caused primarily by such disturbances, researchers are considering the use of non-invasive physiological markers as a mean of signalizing the endocrine response to external changes in an individual’s environment. Here, we propose to study activity patterns, and analyze the variation in the levels of fecal glucocorticoids (GC) and fecal triiodothyronine (T3) in order to evaluate the energetic condition of wild golden-headed lion tamarins (GHLTs), small primates endemic to the Southern Bahian Atlantic forest. We primarily intend to investigate which are the foraging strategies that allow GHLTs to survive in degraded habitats assuming that the variation in resource availability is more critical there than in non-degraded habitats and to what extent nutritional stress can negatively affect and individual’s ability to balance energy intake and expenditure, and impair its chances of survival and reproduction.
Date:1 Mar 2019 →  Today
Project type:PhD project