Foraging ecology and use of space in wild golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia)

James M. Dietz, Carlos A. Peres, Laurenz Pinder

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99 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we describe the use of space and feeding ecology of seven groups of golden lion tamarins observed for a total of 2,164 hr in Pogo das Antas Reserve, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Relative to habitat availability in the home ranges of these groups, lion tamarins spent more time than expected in relatively undisturbed swamp forests and less time than expected in more degraded hillside and pasture habitats. Home range area was correlated with group biomass but not group size. Golden lion tamarins fed primarily on fruits and small animal prey, but relied heavily on floral nectar during seasonal periods of relatively low fruit availability. Compared to other New World monkeys, lion tamarins used larger home range areas and exhibited longer daily path lengths than would be predicted by group biomass alone. We suggest that this pattern of foraging and use of space may be explained by the relatively greater availability of cryptic prey and their microhabitats in forests that are flooded and/or have closed canopies than in forests that are in earlier stages of succession where prey may be more susceptible to desiccation during the dry season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-305
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 1997


  • Atlantic forest
  • diet
  • golden lion tamarins
  • habitat selection
  • Leontopithecus rosalia

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