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Survival and Adaptation of a Released Group of Confiscated Capuchin Monkeys

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Abstract:

One commonly used method of managing confiscated wild primates in Latin American countries is to release rehabilitated individuals back to their natural habitats. However, little information has been collected from confiscated animal releases, so no clear guidelines have been developed to measure the success of this type of procedure. In most countries, the collection of critical post-release data is too costly and time-consuming for it to be incorporated into the routine procedures of institutions managing confiscated fauna. Therefore, this project was carried out in conditions similar to those of other Colombian and Latin American rehabilitation centres. A group of eight confiscated and rehabilitated brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) was released in Los Llanos Orientales in Colombia, and monitored for 6.5 months to determine their adaptation and survival after release. Results were analysed according to how the animals adapted to their new environment in terms of foraging, feeding, locomotion, sleeping, social interactions between the group and with other animals and species, predation, orientation, and establishment of a territory. The results show that the short-term adaptation and survival of the group 6.5 months after release was successful. Five of the eight animals remained together, two separated, and only one was lost during the first month. Implications for animal well-being are discussed.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; CAPUCHIN MONKEY; CEBUS APELLA; COLOMBIA; CONFISCATED ANIMAL; REHABILITATION; WILD ANIMAL RELEASE

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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