Rachael Pruitt

Home Institution

Gettysburg College

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


Saguinus geoffroyi, a small neotropical primate that ranges from the Chocó region of Colombia along the Pacific coast of Panamá to the eastern side of the Azuero peninsula. They are known to be a disturbance tolerant species and are mostly found in secondary growth and forest edges where understory growth is moderately dense. They have 3 main food sources: insects, small fruits and exudates (plant saps), which are located in different layers of the forest, although the composition of these may change depending on the season. This study attempted to determine the common food resources, foraging time and location of a population of Geoffroy’s tamarins living within Parque Natural Metropolitano, a secondary, tropical dry forest located within the Panama City Metropolitan area. A combination of instantaneous and focal scans was used to record behavior, location and food resources. During 13 days of observation, 23 detection events occurred, for a total of 9.267 hours. The average number in each group was 4.47±1.92 individuals. There was a significant difference in the time at which the groups were observed at different sites (df=5, p=0.04232). A significant difference between the frequency of activities was found (d.f.=2, p=0.0101). Comparison of wet and dry season use revealed a greater presence in the southern, lowland regions of the park during the dry season. Foraging time represented the smallest portion of time spent, which aligned with observations found in other studies. Because of increasing urbanization, conservation of species, especially those that are known to be tolerant of habitat disturbance, need to be better understood for future conservation efforts of protected areas located within urban areas. Future studies are recommended to further understand habitat and resource use of this species.


Animal Sciences | Animal Studies | Behavior and Ethology | Environmental Studies | Latin American Studies | Nature and Society Relations | Urban Studies and Planning


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