Understanding the Behavior and Ecology of the Red-shanked Douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Central Vietnam: Notes from the Field

Understanding the Behavior and Ecology of the Red-shanked Douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Central Vietnam: Notes from the Field
Nơi đăng: The conference of the College of Veterinary Medicine's annual Points of Pride Research Day, the University of Minnesota, Số: , Trang: , Năm: 2013, Loại bài viết: Tham luận, Quốc gia: Quốc tế.

Tóm tắt:

The red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) is an endangered species of Asian colobine, which inhabits east-central Lao PDR, central Vietnam, and northeast Cambodia. Colobines are folivorous Old World monkeys, that are anatomically, physiologically, and ecologically unique amongst the living primates. They possess specialized gastrointestinal (GI) systems similar to ruminants, including a multi-chambered stomach, allowing for the digestion and utilization of extremely high fiber diets. The complex gut and GI-associated microflora of colobine primates is thought to enable neutralization of digestive inhibitors and potential toxins present in plant materials, which constitute the majority of their natural diet. The purpose of this study was to better understand the behavior and ecology of the red-shanked douc, for which little is known. Specifically, we employed the following objectives: 1) Record feeding and non-feeding behaviors of wild red-shanked doucs and collect fecal and feed samples for laboratory analysis, 2) Establish a community-based conservation program in Danang City, Vietnam to protect the biodiversity of Son Tra Nature Reserve, and 3) Understand the cause and effect relationships between red-shanked douc diet composition and the gut microbiota. Presently, we have completed objective 1 and are currently in the process of completing objectives 2 and 3. Over the past year, Jonathan Clayton traveled to Vietnam where himself and his collaborators established the research site, surveyed the research area for red-shanked douc abundance, established two semi-habituated study groups, collected 130 hours of behavioral data via focal sampling, and collected 66 plant samples and 76 fecal samples for laboratory analysis. A successful outcome is translation of these findings into a comprehensive understanding of red-shanked douc behavior and ecology, identification of microbial biomarkers of douc nutritional health, and a scientific research model to study the gut microbial component of primate evolution.

Abstract:

The red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) is an endangered species of Asian colobine, which inhabits east-central Lao PDR, central Vietnam, and northeast Cambodia. Colobines are folivorous Old World monkeys, that are anatomically, physiologically, and ecologically unique amongst the living primates. They possess specialized gastrointestinal (GI) systems similar to ruminants, including a multi-chambered stomach, allowing for the digestion and utilization of extremely high fiber diets. The complex gut and GI-associated microflora of colobine primates is thought to enable neutralization of digestive inhibitors and potential toxins present in plant materials, which constitute the majority of their natural diet. The purpose of this study was to better understand the behavior and ecology of the red-shanked douc, for which little is known. Specifically, we employed the following objectives: 1) Record feeding and non-feeding behaviors of wild red-shanked doucs and collect fecal and feed samples for laboratory analysis, 2) Establish a community-based conservation program in Danang City, Vietnam to protect the biodiversity of Son Tra Nature Reserve, and 3) Understand the cause and effect relationships between red-shanked douc diet composition and the gut microbiota. Presently, we have completed objective 1 and are currently in the process of completing objectives 2 and 3. Over the past year, Jonathan Clayton traveled to Vietnam where himself and his collaborators established the research site, surveyed the research area for red-shanked douc abundance, established two semi-habituated study groups, collected 130 hours of behavioral data via focal sampling, and collected 66 plant samples and 76 fecal samples for laboratory analysis. A successful outcome is translation of these findings into a comprehensive understanding of red-shanked douc behavior and ecology, identification of microbial biomarkers of douc nutritional health, and a scientific research model to study the gut microbial component of primate evolution.