Document Detail

Ecology and removal of introduced rhesus monkeys: Desecheo Island National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2780956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A field project was conducted to remove an introduced population of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) from Desecheo Island National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico. A group of 57 monkeys from Cayo Santiago was released on Desecheo Island in 1966 to study processes of adaptation. Observations in 1969 and 1970 implicated the monkeys in a drastic decline of the nesting populations of brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) and red-footed boobies (Sula sula). Previous efforts at trapping and removal had been conducted in 1977, 1979, and 1981. The present removal project began in 1985 and continued through 1987. During this period, field investigations were conducted regarding ecology and behavior, simultaneous with the removal of 66 monkeys from the island. Estimates of the monkey population size have been inaccurate. The total number present on the island has been extremely difficult to determine due to the rugged terrain and the furtiveness of the monkeys. The population did increase since introduction and was composed of apparently healthy individuals, generally in excellent physical condition. The population was well adapted to the harsh environment of Desecheo Island. No permanent sources of fresh water exist on the island and feeding adaptations focused on consumption of the wood pulp of the almacigo tree (Bursera simaruba) as a result. Huge amounts of this wood pulp were consumed daily for both nutrition and as a source of moisture. Cactus and other plant species were utilized as secondary sources of moisture and nutrition, including lesser amounts of almacigo fruit and leaves. Circumstantial evidence indicates the monkeys are egg predators. Social adaptations involved dispersal into small groups to optimize foraging conditions.
M A Evans
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Puerto Rico health sciences journal     Volume:  8     ISSN:  0738-0658     ISO Abbreviation:  P R Health Sci J     Publication Date:  1989 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-10-20     Completed Date:  1989-10-20     Revised Date:  2003-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303541     Medline TA:  P R Health Sci J     Country:  PUERTO RICO    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  139-56     Citation Subset:  IM    
Caribbean Primates Research Center, Sabana Seca, P.R. 00749.
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MeSH Terms
Academies and Institutes
Animals, Wild*
Macaca mulatta*
Population Dynamics
Puerto Rico
Social Environment*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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