CZAAWE Resource Article

Phytochemical and mineral components of foods consumed by black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) at two sites in Belize
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/1098-2361(2000)19:2<95::AID-ZOO1>3.3.CO;2-4 We analyzed the chemical composition of the diets of eight groups of free-ranging black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in Belize, Central America. The study groups were located in two different forests: the Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS). Two of the study groups were translocated from the CBS to CBWS 3 months into the study, and we compared the diets of groups in the two forests. Young and mature leaves, fruits, flowers, and fig samples (n = 144) were analyzed for water content, crude and available protein, fiber, simple sugars, and minerals. Statistically significant differences were found among the plant parts in all measures except acid-detergent fiber. Dietary foliage in CBS was higher in water content and protein but lower in simple sugars than dietary foliage in CBWS. We suggest that changes in the selection of plant parts by primates may be related to differences in the nutritional content of those parts. These data may be useful in developing optimal diets for captive howler monkeys. Zoo Biol 19:95–109, 2000. © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.