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Parasites a key to the decline of red colobus monkeys in forest fragments
Date:10/24/2007

of the plants that make up their diet simply arent available in disturbed forest fragments.

The red colobus typically eat 40 to 50 species of plants, but in these forest fragments we might only have 12 tree species, so theres a dramatic reduction in what we typically would see them feed on, Gillespie said.

The black-and-white colobus tend to feed on whatevers dominant. They make do with whats there.

The black-and-white colobus monkeys ability to eat well under a variety of circumstances enhances their ability to withstand parasitic infections, Gillespie said.

Red colobus monkeys travels bring them into contact with more parasites. Their compromised nutritional status also weakens them, giving parasites the edge, Gillespie said.

We asked how parasitism plays into this dynamic of some species doing well and others not doing well after forest fragmentation, Gillespie said. This is giving us a new window into whats happening.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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