Vulnerable species studies

135Staff at DZG are assisting with a scientific study into the behaviour of a vulnerable species of primate.

DZG has established a bachelor group of white-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia) and invited Plymouth University researcher Sarah Bonsall to compare the social behaviour of the all-males with breeding groups of monogamous pairs and families.

Registrar and Research Co-ordinator, Dr David Beeston, said: “It is very important to the captive breeding programme in Europe that we find out whether all male groups are a sound idea.”

He added: “Captive bachelor groups create a higher density of males than usual, and it is thought that in order to get along together without fighting, males may modify their behaviour to avoid conflict, perhaps by becoming more submissive.”

“The research is important because zoologists need to know if the bachelor groups are a feasible way of maintaining the species.”

CAPTION: Sarah studies DZG’s white-faced saki monkeys.