Capuchin-human interactions in the Parque Nacional de Brasilia, Brasil

We studied human-monkey interactions in the National Park of Brasilia. The Park is visited daily by hundreds of people, because of the relative proximity to the city of Brasilia, and the presence of structures for physical activities and leisure (natural swimming pools, paths for walking and jogging). In particular, we studied the interactions of two groups of tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), resident in the area of one swimming pool, with the visitors of the park. The capuchins habitually frequent the swimming pool and are used to taking food that visitors give them, besides from stealing food from the garbage and from the visitors.
The interactions were studied through interviews to the park visitors, whose aim was mainly to understand the visitors' attitude towards capuchins, and through direct observation of the spontaneously occurring interactions.
In total we applied 300 interviews and observed 110 interactions of capuchins with humans. In 79,1% of the interactions observed, food was involved. Capuchins and humans were both likely to initiate an interaction, but while capuchins of all ages were involved, in the case of humans adults were predominant (65.3%). In 61.8% of the interactions the distance between human and monkey was less than 1 m, and in 56,6% of the cases the interactions took place with a low density of humans (between 0 and 3). Overall, in this area capuchins' behavior is greatly influenced by human presence and shows the high adaptability of this species to different situations.

Tipo Pubblicazione: 
Contributo in atti di convegno
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XX Convegno della International Primatological Society, Torino, 22 - 28/08/2004
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