Photo by Diego Mosquera

Primate studies at TBS

Anthony Di Fiore, University of Texas at Austin

Eduardo Fernández-Duque, Yale University

Andrés Link, Universidad de los Andes

The Tiputini Biodiversity Station is home to one of the most diverse non-human primate communities in the Amazon. Within the station there are 10 genera of primates that belong to three families. Since 2003, members of the research team of the Primates Project, a group of biologists and conservationists focused on the study and conservation of tropical forests, have carried out a large number of studies on most of these species.

Thanks to the results of our research, today we have a better understanding of the type of diet, ecological strategies, requirements of habitat and social behavior of the primates of the western Amazon. In a complementary way, and through the use of molecular techniques, we have studied their dispersal patterns, their genetic kinship and the genetic and demographic structure of some of these populations. As part of this research project, we have also identified thousands of trees belonging to hundreds of plant species that are part of the diet of these primates. As a result of all these investigations, the primate community of the Ecuadorian East is currently one of the most studied in the Neotropics. All these studies have been carried out in cooperation with dozens of students, volunteers and researchers from Ecuador and other Latin American countries thanks to the permits granted by the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador and thanks to the support of the College of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the San Francisco de Quito University.