Thursday, July 27, 2017

Primate Update July 2017


The Anthropocene Epoch- The 6th Mass Extinction is Underway


In the last 100 years, scientists conservatively estimate that at least 200 vertebrate species have gone extinct.  The average or “background” extinction rate is about 2 species per 100 years.  The current rate of species extinction is between 100 to1,000 times higher than the background rate.   These alarming figures verify that the 6th Mass extinction is already well underway. Even more disturbing, the current extinction event is between 10 to 100 times bigger than any of the previous 5 mass extinctions, and is the only known mass extinction of plant species in addition to animal species.

Mass Extinction is defined as “The extinction of a large number of species within a relatively short period of geological time, thought to be due to factors such as a catastrophic global event or widespread environmental change that occurs too rapidly for most species to adapt.”  

Many scientists are referring to our current time as the Anthropocene Epoch, meaning “human era”, it is viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.  The “Anthropocene Extinction”, as the current event is often called, is an apt name, as 99% of the currently threatened species are at risk because of human activity.  The human population is exploding at an unprecedented rate, from 1 billion in 1800, to 2 billion in 1930 to over 7 billion people today.  Never before has a single population of vertebrate animals grown so much or so fast, and had such a devastating impact.  Overexploitation, habitat degradation, deforestation, introduction of invasive species, pollution, and climate change are just a few of the disastrous forces that we are inflicting on our planet. Clearing forests for palm oil plantations is currently one of the largest causes of deforestation and species loss.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. Noted Biologist and author, Edward Wilson, calculated that if the current rate of human disturbance continues, half of Earth’s higher lifeforms will be extinct by 2100.

 

Many people are aware that species such as Orangutans, Cheetahs, and Black Rhinos are endangered and facing possible extinction. However, it is not just threatened and endangered species that are at risk, even species listed as “least concern” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are declining at a rapid rate. In a recent study, researchers examined a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians all over the world.  The study revealed that over 30% of all species studied are experiencing considerable population declines. In the last 40 years, we have lost over 50% of the individual animals that once shared our planet, a staggering, catastrophic, heartbreaking loss of life.

Non-Human Primates in particular, are struggling to survive.  Earlier this year, a team of 31 primatologists analyzed all 504 known primate species. They discovered that 60% of all primate species are threatened with extinction, and 75% of all primate species are decreasing globally. Cotton Top Tamarins, a species rescued by Pacific Primate Sanctuary, are classified as Critically Endangered; they have lost over 80% of their population in the last 20 years.  They have also been placed on the list of 25 most endangered primates in the world, and their population continues to decline.  Black-handed spider monkeys, another species cared for at PPS, are currently classified as Endangered.

Every species plays an important role in their native habitat, acting as predator and prey to many other species.  Ecosystems rely on a delicate web of interconnected life forms, and if one species disappears, then others are likely to do so as well. If Humans continue to practice Ecocide (the extensive destruction of the natural environment), then it is likely that current extinction rates will only increase and ecosystems will fall apart and collapse.  Earth cannot sustain life if ecosystems fail— our world and all living beings are in extreme danger. The industrial world must recognize what has been done to the Earth. We are the ones who have created the crisis. It is past time to make a unified effort to heal the planet.  Knowledge is power— do your research, shop ethically, boycott products containing palm oil, and take steps to reduce your carbon footprint.  Make your voice heard— sign/start petitions, and demand that your government representatives work towards policy changes that support the environment. There are many organizations, like Pacific Primate Sanctuary, doing good in the world, and working towards a better future.  By supporting PPS, you are supporting positive global change.  Please help us to continue providing a place of peace and healing to threatened and endangered primates by volunteering or donating: http://pacificprimate.org/help.htm

It is going to take a change in consciousness, an immense, determined effort to save our planet, and it will require all of us. The suggestions above are small things we can all do to slow the rates of ecological destruction and help shift the paradigm— but they are no longer enough. It is time to take a stand for our Earth and for all the life-forms we coexist with. Please spread the word, share this article with your friends and family, start a conversation. The more people who are thinking, talking, and responding to this catastrophe, the greater chance we have to create change on a personal and global level. Humans must reverse the current trends, eradicate ecocide; solutions must be found— and soon. 

Sources:
1. http://m.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114.full.pdf
2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/climate/mass-extinction-animal-species.html?smtyp=cur
3. https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/ongoing-mass-extinction-causing-biological-annihilation-new-study-says/http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/
4. https://www.immortal.org/10260/sixth-mass-holocene-extinction/http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/extinction/index.html
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction
6. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/1/e1600946.fullhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/science/almost-two-thirds-of-primate-species-near-extinction-scientists-find.html



HAWAIIAN VALUES

The Hawaiian ancestors adhered to a set of values that guided their daily lives. These beliefs and principles have been passed on, through the generations, and are still an important part of traditional Hawaiian society today.  In this, and ongoing issues of Primate Update, we explore how the Sanctuary embodies traditional Hawaiian perspectives and practices.
 
Ha’aha’a: Humble, unpretentious, modest, unobtrusive
Kaona or hidden meaning: “The interconnectedness of the universe means all elements are dependent upon each other. Humility allows a person to perceive and experience that connection which in turn will allow these elements to work together for the benefit of the of the individual and the Ohana.”1

Ha‘aha‘a is the value of humility, which teaches us to respect all others as equals.  Every part of a family, a work team, or an ecosystem is integral. There is not one part that is more important, or more valuable than others.  Ha’aha’a instructs us to respect the contributions of others, as well as ourselves.  Be humble, modest, and share your thoughts. Allow others to contribute, and be ready to contribute in return.

At Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Ha’aha’a is a highly respected value.  Our humility allows us to work together as a team, learning from one another, and utilizing each of our unique skills.  The Sanctuary could not function without each member of the team, from Support Staff Volunteers, to Resident Interns, to Management.  We must be humble to learn and to serve the monkeys. We recognize the intrinsic value of all the beings on earth, and treat the monkeys as equals, deserving of respect and compassion.  Ha’aha’a is a value that can help us to heal the world.  

1. https://www.hemakeewaa.org/more-on-core-values
2. http://www.managingwithaloha.com/19-values-of-aloha/haahaa/
3. https://kapakulture.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/hawaiian-word-of-the-day-haahaa/




HOW YOU CAN HELP the MONKEYS at PPS
 

Donating to Pacific Primate Sanctuary can be as simple as doing an Internet search!  Visit GoodSearch.com and designate Pacific Primate Sanctuary as your charity of choice, and get started using this philanthropic program.  Each time you do a search using GoodSearch, a small contribution will be made to PPS!  Larger donations are made to PPS when you order from one of the many participating online stores, using GoodShop.

GoodShop
GoodShop is THE go-to place to find all those coupon codes and promo codes on the web for thousands of stores from The Gap, Best Buy, Expedia, Target, Apple and more!  So, don’t ever miss a chance to save a bit of money. AND, when you shop through Goodshop, a percentage of what you spend is donated to Pacific Primate Sanctuary!

AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Pacific Primate Sanctuary every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to PPS. Go to smile.amazon.com, and select Pacific Primate Sanctuary as your charity, or you can click on the following link:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/99-0285731


Give the Gift of Your Service and Volunteer Your Time
We are currently in need of more local Volunteers! We need Animal Caregivers, Handy People, and Gardeners/Landscapers. Retirees are welcome. If you live on Maui and are interested in becoming one of Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s Angels, by volunteering your time and skills, please e-mail:  pacificprimatesanctuary@gmail.com

How to Contribute Directly
We rely on and deeply appreciate your continued partnership. Please make tax-deductible donations to the Sanctuary on our Website: www.pacificprimate.org and on FaceBook, using PayPal, or by sending a check to:                                   
Pacific Primate Sanctuary
500-A Haloa Road
Haiku, HI 96708

 
“Malama ‘Ola the Monkeys” and help us provide food, medicine and supplies for the monkeys at
Pacific Primate Sanctuary and contribute to the care of the
Beings with whom we share the Earth!


  

RESIDENT INTERNSHIP

The Resident Internship at Pacific Primate Sanctuary is an in-depth, immersion experience. The program facilitates learning about New World primates and animal sanctuary management on an intimate, all-encompassing level. Interns are trained by experienced members of our staff in all aspects of New World primate care. Training is tailored for each Intern and progress is evaluated at each stage of instruction. In time, Interns may be awarded Primary Animal Caregiver Certification by senior personnel, after successfully acquiring a high level of competence, skill, and expertise in primate care, record keeping, and facility management. The learning process never truly ends and the scope and breadth of the Intern’s knowledge and responsibility grow over time.  The Internship is divided into three distinct training Modules.

In the first Module, Interns learn how to provide daily care, enrichment, and nurturing to the monkeys.  This includes preparing food, outfitting and cleaning enclosures, and maintaining the Sanctuary facility. They also learn about primate behavior and communication. Interns read and review relevant texts and articles and present short summaries, along with current primate status reports for PPS monthly staff meetings, and prepare the daily AM and PM status shift reports in SOAP format. In module 1, Interns learn to edit, update, and create new manual documents.  Intern Holly arrived in June, and is currently in Module 1 of her training.  Holly recently graduated from Central Washington University, earning a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Biology and Primate Behavior and Ecology.  The PPS Internship was recommended to her by one of her professors, Dr. Lori Sheeran, who is on the PPS Advisory Board. This is Holly’s first experience caring for primates, and she is readily absorbing the new information that she is learning.

Module 2 focuses on Emergency Care and Behavioral Conditioning. Interns start Emergency Care training, becoming proficient in capture, transfer, restraint, handling, and specialized individual care. In this module, Interns get specialized medical training: calculating drug dosages and administering medication, performing physical examinations, checking vital signs (temperature, respiratory, and pulse rate), providing subcutaneous fluid therapy and intensive care (heat, fluids, special diet, wound care, etc.). They play an intimate part in veterinary consultations, treatment plans, and follow-up. Interns also study and observe behavioral conditioning techniques. Interns submit proposals for their in-depth independent project, which will contribute to the care and understanding of the primates at PPS.  Intern Lauren, who arrived in February, recently completed her Module 2 training.  Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, and spent 6 months caring for capuchins and squirrel monkeys in the Dominican Republic prior to coming to PPS.

In the third Module Interns participate in Sanctuary Management.  This consists of training new Volunteers, monitoring social welfare of the animals, and ensuring that the records and reporting on the daily status of the primates are thorough and current. Interns acquire skills in Colony Management, making recommendations for new pairings and corridor movements.  In this module, Interns also focus on their Independent Project.  Interns will become certified as a Primary Animal Caregiver, make the transition to Senior Intern, and finally become a Mentor Caregiver, helping to train the next Senior Interns.  Jessica and Gini are Senior Interns, who both arrived in September 2016.  Gini is from Australia, and has a Certificate III in Captive Animals, along with experience caring for exotic animals at the Taronga Zoo. Jessica has a Master’s in Psychology.  She volunteered at two different primate sanctuaries prior to coming to PPS, working with capuchin monkeys and lemurs. 

A great value of the PPS Internship program is the training and education that we provide to the next generation of conservationists, environmentalists, and ecologists. Mentored Interns are taught how to provide compassionate care to vulnerable and endangered species and comprehend the global issues threatening their populations.  Our mutually beneficial, immersive Internship program offers a unique and valuable learning experience to Interns, and exceptional animal care for the primates at the Sanctuary.

Pacific Primate Sanctuary has trained 42 Resident Interns over the past 13 years and the curriculum for this program has deepened and expanded over time. The insight and understanding gained from involvement with PPS, impacts the future personal and professional lives of the Interns and Volunteers and affects an ever-widening circle of people with whom they interact. Interns leave PPS trained to be stewards of our precious planet and caregivers of the Beings we share it with.

CONTINUING EDUCATION


Special Topic: Intern Lauren
Spider Monkey Habitat Use and Ranging Patterns

Spider monkeys live in the upper canopy of the rainforest, gravitating towards areas with tall evergreen and semi deciduous tropical forests. Their average home range is 150 to 350 hectares in size. This area includes where they sleep, eat, and spend most of their time. Spider monkeys tend to stay within their home ranges, in individual core areas. These are smaller overlapping divisions in the home range that are not generally exclusive and exist to decrease competition due to the broad spread of resources in their environment. They move throughout their environment to increase their access to resources and limit risks from predation.

By considering where and why animals move within their environment, we can understand more about their resource use as well as social structures. Spider monkey troupes tend to sleep together in a large centralized tree. By staying in a group, they are safer from nocturnal predators. These trees are usually located near the center of the home range, while individual core areas clump around patches of fruit trees. Having a meeting place in the middle of their home range allows the group to share important information about resources.

Most of the movement seen in wild spider monkeys is due to differing availability and distribution of fruit trees in different areas. As the seasons change, and different fruits come into season, the group will change its ranging patterns. These movement patterns are inconsistent and decrease during times of low fruit availability, during which spider monkeys begin to rely more on secondary food sources such as leaves and bark. Groups will even come down from the trees for mineral licks or water when necessary.

Terrestrial behavior in spider monkeys puts the group at higher risk for predation. Their predators include the harpy and crested eagles, jaguars, and pumas. Younger members are also at risk from smaller birds and mammals as well as boa constrictors. When a spider monkey feels threatened, they will often display a behavior called branch shaking. They will also keep look out for other group members as they make use of terrestrial resources.

For the most part, spider monkeys avoid areas they know to be inhabited by predators. This behavior affects their ranging patterns and limits their resources further. To avoid competition between groups, male dominated patrol groups spend time along the outer borders of the territory. Due to the distance between food sources, they must keep a close eye on clumps of fruiting trees within their home range.

With limited food sources, spider monkeys are confined to specific areas, some of which are prone to deforestation and development by humans. As their habitats shrink, their populations do as well, making them a vulnerable species.

For spider monkeys in the wild, much of life revolves around food. It is no different for the spider monkeys at PPS. Carlos and Montana are offered different food based enrichments to mimic their wild foraging behaviors. These include placing parts of their diets in different areas of their enclosure as well as hiding food in Ti leaf bundles or buckets filled with hay, which allows them to forage.

Works Cited:
  • Campbell, Christina J., ed. Spider Monkeys: The Biology, Behaviour, and Ecology of the Genus Ateles. New York: Cambridge U Press, 2008. Print. Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology.
  • IUCN 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. . Downloaded on 07 December 2016.
 


Special Topic: Intern Gini
How Capuchins Use Objects and Tools

Capuchins have long been known for being masters in the complex manipulation of objects. Tool use was first thought to be an unnatural behavior in captive primates prompted by humans. However, extensive observations of wild apes have shown that tool use is actually a behavior that is passed from parent to offspring in the wild.  Capuchins have not been studied in the wild as extensively as apes. However, impressive achievements with tool use in a captive setting indicate that these skills would also occur in their natural habitat.

Nut cracking by capuchins in captive environments is mentioned in reports dating as far back as the sixteenth century. *Nut cracking is a behavior in which a capuchin will place a hard-shelled nut on the ground or a fallen branch, pick up a large rock, lift it high over their head and force it down onto the nut. This behavior is repeated until the shell cracks allowing the capuchin to pick out the nut inside. It wasn’t until very recently (within the last few decades) that primatologists “discovered” the spontaneous use of stones to crack nuts in a semi-free ranging group of tufted capuchin monkeys. 
(*Videos of Capuchin tool use in the wild can be found at the following links:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0iZkyL4UlM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc8NUS218qg )

Capuchins are master manipulators, and with this comes intellectual thought and problem solving. Tool use is an advanced thought process, which enables capuchins to reduce foraging time, reach food items they couldn't ordinarily reach, and to retrieve hard to find or access foods. Capuchins have been reported using long sticks to extend their reach. A study took place where a container was filled with semi-liquid foods such as applesauce, yogurt, and syrup.  The containers had tiny openings, too small for the capuchins fingers. Objects were placed in the room such as sticks, straws, dowels, bolts and branches. Capuchins are able to easily master this task, utilizing sticks or straws to get to the food.  Even very young capuchins (under 1 year old) are successful in this task.  This depicts their vast knowledge and skill in manipulation and their perspective of the world around them.

Miracle and Prospero, the two capuchins at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, are provided with hard shelled nuts, which allows them to problem solve in order to access the nut inside. Problem solving is no easy task and requires patience and skill. They use various techniques, including biting with their strong jaws and hard teeth and hitting the nut against a hard surface. Prospero the male capuchin, takes a little longer to crack nuts than his partner Miracle, who usually cracks hers rather quickly. Prospero has been observed watching Miracle and her technique, a practice used frequently in the wild by infants and adolescents. Although Prospero is a fully grown mature adult male, he still exhibits the same curiosity and desire to learn as a young capuchin.  He is able to gain new skills by imitating Miracle, and utilizing new techniques to increase his success in retrieving food items.

Works Cited:
Research paper: Capuchin monkey tool use: Overview and implications. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227525977_Capuchin_monkey_tool_use_Overview_and_implications [accessed May 6, 2017].
Dorothy M. Fragaszy, Elisabetta Visalberghi, Linda Marie Fedigan. “The Complete Capuchin – The Biology of the Genus Cebus.” The United Kingdom, Cambridge, University press, 2004.
Aversi-Ferreira RAGMF, Maior RS, Aziz A, Ziermann JM, Nishijo H, et al. (2014) Anatomical Analysis of Thumb Opponency Movement in the Capuchin Monkey (Sapajus sp). PLoS ONE 9(2): e87288. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087288


Special Topic: Intern Jessica
Primate Diets

Providing proper nutrition to captive primates can be difficult for a variety of reasons, including inherent differences between captive and wild settings and differences in amount and type of food available. In the wild, the search for food may take up the majority of a monkey’s day, requiring time spent both exploring their environment in order to locate food sources and devising ways to obtain those food sources once they have been located. This can include activities such as travelling across forests, hunting, cracking open seeds, removing insects from holes in trees, etc. In addition to energy spent obtaining food, food sources are highly variable by season, and thus a primate’s diet is largely varied, and includes things such as animals, insects, fruits, vegetable, leaves, and gums.

In terms of locating food, wild primates are required to expend a high amount of energy on a daily basis to ensure they obtain enough food; capuchin monkeys, for example, may travel for miles each day across the forest tree-tops. Because this is not possible in a captive setting, energy requirements must be adjusted when calculating nutritional needs. While captive monkeys may not have to travel as far for their food, it is possible to simulate wild-like forging behaviors in the way that food is presented. For example, one form of enrichment the monkeys at PPS are particularly fond of, is when food items are strung onto Ti leaves.  These leaves, which are now covered with small treats, are hung in the monkey’s enclosures.  This simulates natural foraging behaviors in which wild primates would have to pluck small fruits or seeds off of the plants they are growing on.  Similarly, we will sometimes provide whole branches from a fruiting tree, such as mulberry or strawberry guava, to the capuchins and spider monkeys, allowing them to pick the fruits themselves.
As mentioned, wild primate diets are widely varied, and often based on seasonal availability. Captive populations, including the monkeys at PPS, typically receive commercial primate diets, which have been specially formulated to meet the full nutritional needs of the animals. While this has the benefit of ensuring that all vitamin and mineral needs are met, it lacks similarity to what animals would eat in the wild.  Because of this, the monkeys at PPS also receive a variety of other fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. As we grow a wide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables on site, the monkeys are able to experience a seasonal shift in foods. Recently, for example, the capuchin and spider monkeys have been enjoying Brazilian and Surinam cherries and ice cream bean which just now began to fruit. The customized diets not only ensure their dietary needs of the monkeys are met, but also allow them to experience a life as similar to their natural habitat as possible.

Works Cited:
Wolfehsohn, Sarah and Honess, Paul. (2005). Handbook of Primate Husbandry and Welfare. Blackwell Publishing
Dorothy M. Fragaszy, Elisabetta Visalberghi, Linda Marie Fedigan. “The Complete Capuchin – The Biology of the Genus Cebus.” The United Kingdom, Cambridge, University press, 2004.
Maxwell, H. (2009). Inexpensive Enclosures for Small Sanctuaries: Alternatives to Million Dollar Environments. Oxford
The Simian Society of America. (1995). Primate Care.

















We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s E-Newsletter. Thank you for your support of our life giving work. Because of compassionate people, the Sanctuary can continue to provide a place of peace and happiness for primates saved from research laboratories, animal dealers, and tourist attractions. Here they can heal, form social groups, and live free from exploitation.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Primate Update 11-15






MAHALO

Words in Hawaiian have Mana, or life energy/divine power, and one of the most sacred words is Mahalo.  In the most basic translation, Mahalo means thankfulness and appreciation, however the true meaning is much deeper than that, and can be seen by analyzing the word:
Ma= In +  ha=breath (life/divine) + alo= presence: May you be in the presence of the divine breath.

When you say Mahalo to to another person, you are blessing them and expressing sincere gratitude, respect and admiration. To live with the value of Mahalo, means to live in thankfulness and appreciation of all that life gives us.  It means recognizing our skills, knowledge and experiences as gifts to be treasured and celebrated, and utilizing those gifts in the best possible way. 

At Pacific Primate Sanctuary, wprimate deeply resonate with the value of Mahalo; it impacts all that we do. We are profoundly grateful for:
The calling to be a part of something good, and shine a little light in the darkness is a true gift.  Every single member of the Pacific Primate Sanctuary community is supporting something they truly believe in and making a difference in the world. The Sanctuary’s successes would not be possible wihout our phenomenal supporters.  If we all follow our hearts, and use our gifts to benefit others, our lives reflect the value of Mahalo, and that will make the world a better place for everyone. 



Pacific Primate Sanctuary News

 PPS FUNDRAISER at FLATBREAD:

PACIFIC PRIMATE SANCTUARY WILL BE HAVING A FUNDRAISER AT THE FLATBREAD COMPANY IN PAIA ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015, FROM 4:00-10:00PM.

The event will include a Silent Auction featuring local artists and businesses. PPS will receive a portion of the proceeds from all pizza sales, so please mark your calendar and invite your family and friends to join us on 12/1 for a Pizza Party FUNdraiser for the Monkeys at Flatbread in Paia from 4-10pm!


 

Pacific Primate Sanctuary Inc. has been honored with a prestigious 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

GreatNonprofits is a website designed to help people find trustworthy nonprofits through user reviews. Their mission is to help inspire and inform prospective donors and volunteers, by helping them differentiate between nonprofits; find ones that they trust, and be more confident in giving or signing up to volunteer.  They also strive to enable nonprofits, regardless of the size of their marketing budget, to harness their most authentic and most effective advertising- the stories of those they serve.

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is pleased to be recognized as a Top-Rated Nonprofit for the second year in a row!  The reviews about PPS were written by veterinarians, current and past volunteers, donors, individuals who have placed animals in our care, and many other supporters. We are deeply grateful for the encouraging, thoughtful words of the PPS community.  Reading the comments warms our hearts, and affirms our commitment to the precious beings in our care. These are some of the awe-inspiring comments written about Pacific Primate Sanctuary this year:

“PPS is a gift to the community and the world. It embodies the compassion and care for all creation that imbues all religious and humanistic traditions. The founder and all the volunteers are incredibly dedicated and skilled. PPS is a bright light in our troubled world.”

“Pacific Primate Sanctuary is exemplary in every way. It is in an extraordinarily beautiful environment, nurturing, humane and managed with much intelligence, sensitivity, love and caring.”

“I have had the privilege of working with the Sanctuary for over 15 years in a consulting role concerning the health of the monkeys. The facility is exemplary and its nutrition, husbandry, and preventive health program as well as any necessary health care, are far beyond what zoos can do for their animals. Their animals live to old age in a beautiful habitat where their physical and mental needs are met. The Sanctuary program is visionary for these animals…”

You can read (and write) more wonderful reviews at:

http://greatnonprofits.org/org/pacific-primate-sanctuary-inc






WAYS YOU CAN HELP the MONKEYS at PPS


Donating to Pacific Primate Sanctuary can be as simple as doing an Internet search!  Visit GoodSearch.com and designate Pacific Primate Sanctuary as your charity of choice, and get started using this philanthropic program.  Each time you do a search using GoodSearch, a small contribution will be made to PPS!  Larger donations are made to PPS when you order from one of the many participating online stores, using GoodShop.

GoodShop
Goodshop is THE go-to place to find all those coupon codes and promo codes on the web for thousands of stores from AmazonSmile (please designate PPS as your nonprofit of choice), the Gap, Best Buy, Expedia, Target, Apple and more!  So, don’t ever miss a chance to save a bit of money. AND, when you click through from Goodshop, a percentage of what you spend is donated to Pacific Primate Sanctuary!  So, this holiday season, shop, save and give – for free!
 

Give the Gift of Your Service and Volunteer Your Time
We are currently in need of more local Volunteers! We need Animal Caregivers, Handy People, and Gardeners/Landscapers. Retirees are welcome. If you live on Maui and are interested in becoming one of Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s Angels, by volunteering your time and skills, please e-mail:  pps@pacificprimate.org



Gift Contributions
Many people do not enjoy the commercialism of the holiday buying binge and are searching for truly meaningful gifts.  We would like to offer a unique gift giving opportunity:
Gift Contributions can be made to Pacific Primate Sanctuary in the name of anyone on your holiday list. Your Gift Recipients will receive a beautiful Contribution Certificate showing you have made a donation in their name, along with information about PPS.  This thoughtful and significant present helps to feed and care for threatened, endangered and distressed primates.  Please go to our website for details:
http://www.pacificprimate.org/help.htm


How to Contribute Directly
We rely on and appreciate your continued partnership. Please make tax-deductible donations to the Sanctuary on our Website: www.pacificprimate.org and on FaceBook, using PayPal, or by sending a check to:                  
Pacific Primate Sanctuary
500-A Haloa Road
 Haiku, HI 96708


“Malama ‘Ola the Monkeys” and help us provide food, medicine and supplies for the monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary and contribute to the care of the Beings with whom we share the Earth.


Welcome to New PPS Intern, Paolina!
Paolina arrived on October 14th to begin her Resident Internship at Pacific Primate Sanctuary.  She received a degree in Animal Biology in 2013 from the University of Guelph in Ontario.  Paolina spent several years working in veterinary clinics, as both a veterinary assistant and an animal care attendant in an emergency clinic.  She also has experience caring for wildlife native to Ontario at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Paolina is eager to expand her knowledge and abilities as a primate caregiver at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, and has already shown a deep commitment to learning all aspects of New World primate care. Welcome Paolina, we are so happy you have joined Team PPS!

Paolina writes:
I happily accept your kind offer of a position as a resident New World Primate Caregiver/Office Assistant at Pacific Primate Sanctuary (PPS). I was impressed with everyone whom I met during my interview and feel honored to be chosen to carry out a year-long tenure with PPS….

…I want to come to PPS for personal and professional growth as a wildlife rehabilitator. I believe that I will learn very much from the great minds and personalities of both humans and monkeys alike at your sanctuary. This internship provides me with a chance to develop my animal husbandry abilities, gain experience in primate care, and assist with the need for primate protection and rainforest conservation.

My goals for this internship are to learn all aspects of New World primate care as well as office and management responsibilities at PPS. I wish to make a significant contribution to your organization while learning a great deal from experienced interns and staff. I endeavor to share my skills in order to carry out PPS’s mission to protect and preserve threatened, endangered and distressed primates and their natural environments. I hope that the education and training obtained from PPS will allow me to provide optimum care for all the primates at the sanctuary, while enriching my skills as an animal caretaker in order to become an even better wildlife rehabilitator. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
 

 
A Hui Ho Katie

It is with deep sadness that we said farewell to Intern Katie last month, who returned Minnesota for medical reasons.  Katie was an outstanding Intern, and we are grateful for all that she contributed to PPS. She was a truly dedicated caregiver, deeply committed to the wellbeing of each individual in her care.  She arrived with no primate care experience, and left a well-rounded, highly educated, and intuitive Primary Animal Caregiver.  The animals’ needs always came first for Katie. Her positive, compassionate nature created a space full of Aloha for all the monkeys and volunteers.  Near the end of her Internship, Katie focused on revising, reorganizing and editing the PPS Manuals, to make them more user friendly and up to date so the future caregivers will have the benefit of Katie’s knowledge and expertise.   We greatly miss having Katie at the Sanctuary, and know that we will be with her again in the future.  

Katie Writes:
It has been an absolute pleasure working with such selfless individuals and I feel truly blessed to have spent time learning and growing with all of you. It is by no coincidence that the kinds of people who dedicate their time and lives to serving are some of the best people I have ever known. During my time here, there were some things that stood as especially poignant reminders of why we do what we do.

There are of course always the little, everyday moments. Sleepy couples poking their heads out of their sleeping cubes to watch you do evening walkthrough, or the moment immediately after breakfast has been distributed where everything is quiet except for the sounds of dozens of monkeys chewing. But there were also the rarer moments - cradling an ill marmoset in my hand as she passed, with nothing but the smell of lavender in the air and the sounds of her labored breath.  Processing the absolute heart break that followed and sharing it with my friends and colleagues who responded with so much compassion that it still takes my breath away.

And there were firsts, too, not just ends. The first time I saw Pacey the ex-pet being groomed by the partner that finally stuck, and watching how just being in contact with another monkey calmed him in a way nothing else ever could. Returning Artemis to her enclosure with her partner after a long battle with her kidney disease and watching from the sides as they greeted each other for the first time in months. It was through moments like these and interactions with our Volunteers, Interns, management, and everyone who comes through these doors that I was shown how it doesn’t matter what you do so long as you continue to strive for something bigger than yourself. I know that through my fellow Interns, of whom I am so proud, this philosophy will be kept alive and the monkeys will continue to flourish despite who comes and goes. I will miss every single one of you so much, and wish you all the very best.
All my love,
Katie

 

PACIFIC PRIMATE SANCTUARY’S NEW WORLD PRIMATE CAREGIVER RESIDENCY is a
year- long internship program. We have had 35 Interns over the past 11 years and the curriculum has deepened and expanded over time. The Sanctuary’s education program is mutually beneficial, since the Interns provide a high level of animal husbandry and compassionate care to the 50 monkeys.

The PPS immersion Internship has become a coveted residency for students and professionals, worldwide.  With your support we will be able to provide this comprehensive training program and extensive experience to these dedicated students who will graduate with a profound understanding of the care, conservation, and rehabilitation of threatened and endangered animals.

The PPS Resident Internship would not be possible without the support of our caring Donors.  Funding for this essential program is needed in order to provide housing, utilities, and supplies for the Sanctuary’s 2016-2017 Resident Interns.

To find out how you can contribute to Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s Resident Internship Program, please email us at: pps@pacificprimate.org or donate now at: 
http://pacificprimate.org/help.htm


CONTINUING EDUCATION
Special Topic: Intern Jordan
The Complete Capuchin: The Biology of the Genus Cebus
Chapter 5: The Body (Part 2)

Capuchins use their hands very differently than their platyrrhine (New World monkey) relatives, even though their hands lack any distinctive features when compared to other New World monkeys.  In humans, the thumb is critical in achieving precise control of objects. The “saddle joint” enables our thumbs to rotate so that its tip faces the tips of other digits, which allows us to have very strong grips and very fine movements. Capuchins lack the saddle joint and at first were classified to have pseudo-opposable thumbs. This means that when the hand picks up something small the thumb closes in parallel to the other digits in a power grip. The whole hand must move to shift the object when using this grip. Unlike humans, capuchins cannot just use the index finger and thumb to pick up the small object. Later it was found that capuchins are able to achieve precision grips in a variety of ways and are the only platyrrhine taxon that can do so.

There are two skeletal features that allow for the strength and precision grips that capuchins exhibit. Capuchins are fairly similar to Old World monkeys in the range of rotation that occurs at the wrist joint because of the geometry of the joint surfaces. This may support some degree of opposability between thumb and other digits. The second skeletal feature is a relatively deep carpal arch. This is associated with an arrangement of bones in the hand that would improve opposition as well as strength of digital flexors, which support strong grip on objects.

Capuchins have muscular and neural characteristics that relate directly to opposition and strong grip. They can oppose their thumbs to other digits through the rotation of the lower thumb bone. Capuchins have a deep layer of muscle that flexes the fingers (M. flexor digitorum profundus). This muscle contains a radial portion, which may move the thumb and forefinger separately from the other digits.

Capuchins use their hands for gathering insects, cracking open nuts and fruits, as well as grooming. All primates, and many other animals, groom themselves, but what is interesting is the fact that nonhuman primates groom other individuals as well. An individual grooming himself uses the same actions as an individual grooming another. They spread the fur with one or both hands and then use one hand to pick, scrape, or grab small objects in the hair or irregularities in the skin. Sometimes they even use their tongue or lips to touch the skin or hair. Some of the PPS staff have been fortunate enough to see Miracle and Prospero grooming one another. It’s a rare, but beautiful sight!

In addition to grooming, capuchins practice other self-care behaviors like fur-rubbing and urine-washing. These behaviors are shared with some other New World monkeys but are not common in other primate groups. Urine washing has multiple functions: hygiene, thermoregulation and response to irritation from biting ectoparasites. Urine washing begins with an individual urinating into the palm of one hand, and then rubbing it on the sole of the foot. Sometimes this is repeated with the other hand and foot. They will also use the hand or foot to rub or scratch another body part. At PPS urine washing is not observed as frequently as fur-rubbing.

Fur-rubbing, or anointing, involves an individual applying a substance, most often plant material (pulp, seeds, juice, oil from citrus skin) or tissues from a soft-bodied invertebrate, across a large section of the body using hands and tails. Some of the material that capuchins use function as insect repellant. Capuchins salivate excessively when fur-rubbing and will rub the excess saliva on their body along with the materials above. They engage in this activity with more enthusiasm than other primates that practice this behavior.

At Pacific Primate Sanctuary, we witness this enthusiasm on most mornings when we do the daily vinegar spraying of the capuchin enclosures. The main function of the vinegar is to kill any potentially harmful bacteria or viruses that the monkeys’ breakfast may come in contact with. But the vinegar serves a dual purpose. Both Prospero and Miracle can be seen using it for fur-rubbing. Since they also greatly enjoy using citrus for fur-rubbing, the capuchins will soon have a bounty from the PPS orchard, which will be producing an abundance of every imaginable citrus fruit, as we approach winter!

 


Special Topic: Intern Mady
Spider Monkeys: Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of the Genus Ateles
Locomotion and positional behavior of spider monkeys
Dionisius Youlatos


Their relatively large size, strong preference for fruits and leaves, prehensile tails made especially for grabbing and climbing, and suspensory locomotion make spider monkeys unique among New World monkeys. Spider monkeys use their large muscles and tails to move quickly over long distances. Their long forelimbs, strong hind limbs, and specially equipped tail help them to leap, drop, and position themselves in ways that are not seen with other New World monkeys.

Spider monkeys are specialists at leaping, dropping, and suspensory locomotion. Because the end of their tails have a grip-like pad, they can easily and comfortably grab onto branches and hang just by their tail. This suspensory locomotion is the most common form of movement for spider monkeys. Their tail acts like a third hand when climbing, or as an extended leg when reaching for things. Their tail-assisted brachiation, or the use of their arms and tail to swing through the jungle, is an especially efficient mode of transport. When there is a large gap between branches, they leap. Spider monkeys will become airborne, moving horizontally over a distance of 3 to 5 meters to get to their desired location. They are also capable of dropping down from the treetops quickly. They usually suspend themselves by their tails and then drop 1 to 3 meters to lower branches. Their rapid and efficient movements help them travel quickly to the ripest fruits in their territory.

Spider monkeys also typically position themselves in two different seated positions – the ischial sit and the non-ischial sit or squat. At Pacific Primate Sanctuary, spider monkey, Carlos, typically favors the squat during feeding time. He will often come to the feed platform and have his two legs on the bars with his tail grasping a higher bar. He then squats down and grabs the fresh fruit and vegetables in his bowl, putting most of his weight on his hind limbs and tail. This allows him to grab what he likes and quickly climb back up high to eat his food. His brother Montana, however, prefers the ischial sit. He will typically race to the feeding area, drop vertically from the mesh in his greenroom onto the feed platform, and sit completely on his rear. He enjoys sitting on the platform until he is satisfied. Both can be seen climbing, leaping and suspending from their tails each day, and their newly installed branches give them even more opportunity to leap, drop, suspend and, for the first time in their lives, to brachiate!

 









Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

-Henry Ward Beecher












We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s E-Newsletter. Thank you for your support of our life giving work. Because of compassionate people, the Sanctuary can continue to provide a place of peace and happiness for primates saved from research laboratories, animal dealers, and tourist attractions. Here they can heal, form social groups, and live free from exploitation.
 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Sounds of PPS

The morning after I arrived at PPS, I awoke to what I assumed was the sound of trilling birds. I came to find that the sound was in fact, 44 Callitrichids, two capuchins, and two spider monkeys. In the next few weeks I would begin to recognize the first layer of these sounds, and as a caregiver one of my most important jobs was to know, separate, and understand the cacophony of noises here that never stops.

The first layer is the superficial layer- maintenance workers hammering, crickets and birds and toads and the ocean and all the sounds that come with a tropical rainforest. The second layer contains the sounds of the monkeys. The alarm calls, the inquisitive noises, the sounds of volunteers and other caregivers, the sounds of everything and anything that might impact the monkeys. When I learned this layer I learned the sound of a car approaching the driveway from across site- I even learned the sounds of the respective maintenance worker’s cars. I also learned that sound, for some reason, travels and bounces around here in a way I never could have anticipated. I learned that when the neighbors drive down the road it sounds like it’s coming from the forest behind the yurts, but once you trudge through the foliage you will find that the noise is actually coming from well off the property. This layer also encompasses the sounds of the night- the geckos calling (which sounds rather like monkeys fighting, but as I learned my first night is- in fact- not), and the general chitter chatter of the jungle.


I next began to separate the sounds unique to the individuals who reside here. I knew the chirps that meant my pants were too brightly colored and the monkeys were alarmed by them, and the noises that meant the shoes I was wearing covered my toes and someone didn’t approve. I never woke from my bed at five in the morning more quickly or more alert than when the entire building of monkeys began to alarm call because the neighbor’s cat was walking too close to their enclosures.

 Over the next few months, I finally began to hear the most elusive noises. These sounds came from individuals who had become comfortable with my presence. The noises that a cotton top tamarin makes when she wants her partner to groom her. The long calls and responses of partners separated. The happy grunt of an ex-pet marmoset who was never given the opportunity to learn the way his species communicates. He doesn’t quite have the hang of it, but he’s learning. The inquisitive noises of a tamarin who is having mobility problems, and who may be  scared, but he also knows you have something tasty and that it might be for him. The greeting whinny of the spider monkeys, who can hear you walking through the orchard collecting fruit and want to know which of their caregivers it is. These are the noises that a rare few are given the privilege of experiencing, and PPS is one of the few environments in the world which fosters them. The next aspect of PPS I came to learn in such a dimensional way was the smells, and that’s a story for another day. 

Written by Katie Anderson

Friday, August 7, 2015

Primate Update E-newsletter 7-15



Over the past 11 years, Pacific Primate Sanctuary has hosted and trained over 35 Resident Interns.  The PPS Internship is a unique immersion program, facilitating learning about New World primates and animal sanctuary management on an intimate, in depth, all encompassing level.  The Internship program has deepened and expanded over time, with advanced training modules added regularly. During 2014-2015 we developed a Behavioral Conditioning Program, expanded our Emergency Care training to include full physical exams and the utilization of medical SOAP notes for keeping records, and have broadened Primate Behavior and Communication training. The PPS immersion Internship has become a coveted residency for students and professionals, worldwide.
 
The Sanctuary’s resident training program is mutually beneficial, since the Interns learn to provide a high level of animal husbandry and compassionate care to the 50 monkeys.  PPS could not afford to pay for the service, skills, and expertise that PPS Interns dedicate to the animals,
 
On the recommendation of PPS Advisory Board members, we recently created an Assistant Manager position, which can be awarded to select Interns who have completed their Internship, and demonstrate the ability and desire to acquire Sanctuary management skills. PPS Assistant Managers will learn about Sanctuary administration and procedures, and will assist the PPS Operations Manager and Director in the selection of new Interns and Volunteers, providing staff supervision documenting new protocol, helping with fundraising, outreach, and the many other tasks necessary to keep the Sanctuary functioning and advancing.
 
We are currently building a new Yurt, to accommodate our first assistant manager, PPS Resident Intern, Amanda. PPS is so grateful to Joani, long time PPS supporter and partner, for funding this vital project. Words cannot fully express our appreciation for her partnership, which has made the advances and growth of our organization possible.  Thank you to Steven for tirelessly working on the Yurt construction and to PPS volunteer Dayton, for his help.Thank you also to Mark and Dan at Pacific Source in Washington, for donating the Yurt shipping and delivery charges.  

The Sanctuary could not operate without the Interns, and a resident Assistant Manager will be of great benefit to PPS as well. We are truly fortunate to have received Joani’s funding for additional housing. However, paying for the resident staffs’ utilities, and providing goods and supplies has been a major drain on our limited resources. We need additional funds to ensure that the PPS Residency Program can continue. With your support, we will be able to provide this comprehensive training program and extensive experience to these dedicated students who will graduate with a profound understanding of the care, conservation, and rehabilitation of threatened and endangered animals.
 

 

HAWAIIAN VALUES
 
The Hawaiian ancestors adhered to a set of values that guided their daily lives. These beliefs and principles have been passed on, through the generations, and are still an important part of traditional Hawaiian society today.  In the ongoing issues of Primate Update, we explore how the Sanctuary embodies traditional Hawaiian perspectives and practices.

HO‘OHANA—
The value of work: To work with intent and with purpose“Hana is the word for work. Ho‘o is a prefix that brings active causation and transition to the base words that follow: it will turn nouns into people-powered verbs — we make them happen. Therefore, the word Ho‘ohana defines a value in which you work with resolve, focus and determination. You are choosing to work with purpose, and with self-defining intentions.”
 
Ho‘ohana is the value of worthwhile work. When you ho‘ohana, you are working with passion and purpose. Ho‘ohana is bringing intention and full presence to whatever you do.  Ho‘ohana work is something you love doing, it may involve working in celebration of your natural strengths, talents, and gifts, working to make a difference, working to serve others or working for a cause you deeply care about.
 
At Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Ho’ohana is always apparent and evident. Every task that we do is done with the intention of serving the animals in our care.  Whether we are cutting up produce, hosing enclosure floors, pruning outdoor enclosures or washing dishes, we are filled with a purpose:  to provide the best possible care to the monkeys.  PPS team members are filled with purpose and care deeply for each individual primate.   Ho’ohana creates an environment of peace, healing and Aloha for the monkeys. 



WAYS YOU CAN HELP the MONKEYS at PPS
 
 
How to Contribute Directly
We deeply appreciate your continued partnership. Please make tax-deductible donations to the Sanctuary on our Website: www.pacificprimate.org and on FaceBook, using PayPal, or by sending a check to:  
                
Pacific Primate Sanctuary
500-A Haloa Road
 Haiku, HI 96708


   
“Malama ‘Ola the Monkeys” and help us provide food, medicine and supplies for the 50 monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary and contribute to the care of the Beings with whom we share the Earth.


 
Donating to Pacific Primate Sanctuary can be as simple as doing an Internet search!  Visit GoodSearch.com and designate Pacific Primate Sanctuary as your charity of choice, and get started using this philanthropic program.  Each time you do a search using GoodSearch, a small contribution will be made to PPS!  Larger donations are made to PPS when you order from one of the many participating online stores, using GoodShop.
 
GoodShop
Use GoodShop.com to find great deals on back to school shopping!  After designating Pacific Primate Sanctuary as your nonprofit of choice, you can shop at more than 900 top online retailers and a significant percentage of your purchases will automatically be donated to the Sanctuary at no cost to you! For example: if you shop on eBay using Goodshop.com, 25-35% of eBay revenue will be donated to PPS! GoodShop also provides many valuable coupons to use towards your purchases. When you select a store, you will automatically be redirected to a coupon page for that store.
 

GIVE THE GIFT OF YOUR SERVICE AND VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
 
PPS invites local volunteers to join us in our life-saving work. We need: Animal Caregivers, Maintenance/Handy people, Gardeners, Landscapers, Fundraisers, a Seamstress, etc.

Retirees are welcome!  If you live on Maui and are interested in becoming a member of the Pacific Primate Sanctuary Community, by volunteering your time and skills, please contact us: pps@pacificprimate.org






CONTINUING EDUCATION
 
Special Topic: Intern Mady
 
Spider Monkeys: Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution of the Genus Ateles
Morphology and Evolution of the Spider Monkey, Genus Ateles
Alfred L. Rosenberger, Lauren Halenar, Siobhan B. Cooke and Walter C. Hartwig
 
South America is home to four genres of Ateline – howler monkeys (Alouatta), woolly monkeys (Lagothrix), muriquis (Brachyteles), and spider monkeys (Ateles).  Pacific Primate Sanctuary provides refuge to two spider monkeys in the Ateles family, who were rescued from a local tourist attraction. Ateles literally means “imperfect”; this name is based on their unique body structure, which was considered imperfect, but is actually extremely well adapted to the primates’ ecology. They are built as a bit of a hybrid. Spider monkeys have long arms and a short trunk that is closer in comparison to gibbons, but skulls and teeth like the howler monkeys and woolly monkeys. Spider monkeys live a high-energy lifestyle while surviving mainly on soft, ripe fruit that is widely dispersed throughout the upper treetops. Their efficient brachiation: the way they move through the treetops, swinging from branches, allows them to move swiftly through their forested environment. Muriquis, for example, are not able to keep up with such an active lifestyle because they do not have the longer forelimbs and mobility that spider monkeys possess. Spider monkeys also have forelimbs that are 150% the length of their trunk – giving them the longest arm-span out of the four Atelines in South America.
 
Another reason spider monkeys are classified as  “imperfect” is their lack of thumbs. Their hands are curved like hooks, and without a thumb to get in their way, they can move from branch to branch with ease, making them some of the most skillful brachiators in the jungle. The spider monkeys at PPS, Carlos and Montana, use their curved hands when they are swinging or when they are feeding. They readily scoop up their fresh fruits and veggies straight into their mouths and swing away with ease. The two brothers often rely on their tails to suspend themselves from their branches and ropes to reach lower branches, helping them move quickly through their large enclosure. Knowing spider monkey locomotion and their diet in the wild contributes to their caregivers’ ability to provide the environment and nutrition which best serve their needs.  We give Carlos and Montana fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein along with their biscuits to make sure they not only have a nutritional diet, but also food items which are similar to those found in their natural diet!  Carlos and Montana very clearly prefer the ripe fruit they receive every day above anything else offered to them – just like they would enjoy in the wild. The boys will often rush to their bowls and look through the vegetables to get to the delicious, ripe fruit with their claw-shaped hands. Their 40’ long enclosure, built for them at PPS, is designed so they can express species appropriate locomotion- their natural movement— brachiating
from branch to branch, for the first time in their lives.
 

Special Topic: Intern Jordan
 
The Complete Capuchin: The Biology of the Genus Cebus
Community ecology: How do capuchins interact with their local communities and influence their environments?
 
Capuchins play many roles in their environments. They are predators, prey, agents of dispersal for plants, crop raiders, ecosystem “engineers”, and hosts for parasites, among other things. It is very important to understand the many roles Capuchins can play, in order to provide them with the best possible care at the Sanctuary.
 
Capuchins, especially their young, are prey for the large carnivores including jaguars, pumas, coyotes, tayras (Eira barbara, of the weasel family), venomous and constricting snakes, caimans and crocodiles. Scientists believe that the risk of being killed by one of these large predators is such a significant factor in the life of a primate that enhanced predator detection and defense has frequently been proposed as a primary benefit of group living. Not many captures of capuchins by predators have been documented, but even if captures are rare, losing one member of a group can play an major role in the demographic of the population. Capuchins have developed many ways to evade predation attempts. One strategy works especially well for the “sit and wait” predators, like snakes. They try to pre-empt attacks using early detection and alarm calling, and then frequently mob their predator. The mobbing of a predator is normally led by an adult male who repeatedly and loudly makes threats and alarm calls, while breaking large branches and dropping them on the predator. To capuchins, humans can also be seen as a threat. Numerous times in the wild, field researchers have been bombarded with branches from above by capuchins. As caregivers, our goal is to ensure we are not seen as a threat to the animals but rather that our presence promotes a beneficial sense of safety. We always enter the area near Miracle and Prospero’s enclosure quietly, with caution, moving slowly and keeping our heads down in a submissive posture, to avoid causing any distress.  This behavior keeps the animals at ease, and creates a positive relationship.
 
Capuchins, like all mammals, are hosts to parasites, some that are neutral and others that are harmful. They can be infected with blood parasites, ectoparasites such as hot flies, mites, ticks and lice, and endoparasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. In Costa Rica fecal samples of Cebus capucinus (the species of Capuchins housed at PPS), spider monkeys and howlers were analyzed. C. capucinus had the highest percentage of parasitized feces. It is hypothesized that the higher parasitic loads of the capuchins is due to drinking from water holes, foraging on the ground and trees, and eating a wider variety of food than the howlers and spider monkeys. More research needs to be conducted to better understand the relationship between capuchins and their parasites.   At PPS, we know that keeping a sanitary environment is the best way to prevent any parasitic infections. We disinfect daily, and remove any items that may attract parasitic hosts (such as rodents or slugs) to decrease the likelihood of the animals coming into contact with any parasites. All the primates at PPS are also regularly provided with preventative dewormers.  By understanding the roles Capuchins play in their natural environment, we are able to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the monkeys in our care.
 
 
 
Special Topic:  Intern Katie
Don’t Shoot the Dog: The new art of teaching and training
Chapter Three: Stimulus Control: Cooperation Without Coercion
 
For behavioral conditioning purposes, anything which prompts a behavioral response is considered a stimulus. For example, primate behaviors such as alarm calling in response to a loud noise or blinking at a bright light are called unconditioned primary stimuli. Stimuli can also be learned by association with a reinforced behavior. For example, an individual hears the sound of a feed door opening and comes over expecting food or a treat, because the sound is associated with food.  Those types of stimuli are referred to as “cues” or signals.
 
In operant conditioning, once the desired behavior is established, a “cue” is introduced in order to shape the behavior. This brings the behavior under stimulus control. The stimulus becomes another positive reinforcer, a sort of green light, so the individual knows that executing a specific behavior will result in a reward.
 
Following operant conditioning, a dog is taught to sit using a clicker, then the cue of the spoken word, “sit” is introduced. Stimulus controlled behavior is useful in one common occurrence of training: anticipation.  Once an individual knows a specific behavior, they become so eager that they act before a cue has been given. We often see this with Miracle and Prospero, who have been trained to present their hands to caregivers for inspection in the event of injury. Because of this conditioning, when caregivers walk past their enclosures Miracle and Prospero will often reach their hands through their enclosure, presenting their hands, and hoping for a treat for their behavior.
 
Stimulus controlled behavior is essentially communication. Each individual knows what to expect and acts accordingly. Stimulus is ideal as a reinforcer because it allows us to communicate with the individual and shape the behaviors that are beneficial to the animal, in the least intrusive way possible.






“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals.  Animals suffer as much as we do.  True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them.  It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it.  Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”  
                      ~Albert Schweitzer
 
 
 
 
 
 
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Pacific Primate Sanctuary’s E-Newsletter. Thank you for your support of our life saving work. Because of compassionate people, the Sanctuary can continue to provide a place of peace and happiness for 50 primates saved from research laboratories, animal dealers, and tourist attractions. Here they can heal, form social groups, and live free from exploitation.