Title

Behavioral Responses to Ancestral Predators in Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) on Misali Island, Tanzania

Class Year

2020

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2019

Department 1

Center for Global Education

Abstract

The success of a species depends largely on their ability to recognize and respond to predatory cues. These responses can be controlled through genetic or social factors. This study aimed to assess the ability of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) to identify and respond to ancestral predatory cues following long-term isolation on Misali Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania in order to determine if anti-predator behaviors are innate or learned. This was accomplished through exposure of troops to auditory predator cues and the documentation of their behavioral responses. The results of these trials suggest that predator recognition is an innate behavior in C. pygerythrus, as seen through increased levels of vigilance and agitation.

Comments

Written for the SIT Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management program.

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