Science Diary: Monkeys – Capuchins Up Close and Personal

Science Diary: Monkeys – Capuchins Up Close and Personal

Music; Ambience: Capuchin Monkeys

TM: “The monkeys right now are on top of the house; they’re on the steps; they’re in the trees. You can get within two to three feet of these monkeys pretty easily.”

JM: What’s a typical morning in the field like for a primatologist? Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

TM: “There are about 21 monkeys in this troupe. They’re hoping for a banana handout this morning. I’m not sure if they’re going to get it, but they’re going try.”

JM: Earthwatch scientist Tracie McKinney studies Capuchin monkeys in the forests of Costa Rica.

TM: “The barking noise is a general stress / threat call, because there are people standing here and several dogs nearby. The monkeys want their bananas, but they’re always a little wary of the dogs. Nowadays they really feed the monkeys for the tourists. And it is the only troupe that is provisioned in this park. But it helps at least make it fairly regular so that the tourists can see the monkeys when they come by in the afternoon. Provisioning animals or providing food to wild animals is generally a huge no-no for field research, because that could lead to disease transmission. It could make the animals dependent upon humans or it could make them just not fearful of humans anymore. At this particular site though, these monkeys were already provisioned, and they had been for years and years and years. So I’m kind of taking advantage of that by using them as my comparison group for monkeys who are not provisioned and who are not living with humans. So I would never provision monkeys on purpose, but since they are, we going to use it and take that data.”

JM: And that data is used to plan for the survival of all of Costa Rica’s monkeys. Check out our latest project at kidsciencechallenge.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Science Diary: Monkeys - Capuchins Up Close and Personal

Who needs an alarm clock with banana-seeking monkeys in the neighborhood?
Air Date:03/19/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Monkeys - Capuchins Up Close and Personal

Music; Ambience: Capuchin Monkeys

TM: "The monkeys right now are on top of the house; they're on the steps; they're in the trees. You can get within two to three feet of these monkeys pretty easily."

JM: What's a typical morning in the field like for a primatologist? Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

TM: "There are about 21 monkeys in this troupe. They're hoping for a banana handout this morning. I'm not sure if they're going to get it, but they're going try."

JM: Earthwatch scientist Tracie McKinney studies Capuchin monkeys in the forests of Costa Rica.

TM: "The barking noise is a general stress / threat call, because there are people standing here and several dogs nearby. The monkeys want their bananas, but they're always a little wary of the dogs. Nowadays they really feed the monkeys for the tourists. And it is the only troupe that is provisioned in this park. But it helps at least make it fairly regular so that the tourists can see the monkeys when they come by in the afternoon. Provisioning animals or providing food to wild animals is generally a huge no-no for field research, because that could lead to disease transmission. It could make the animals dependent upon humans or it could make them just not fearful of humans anymore. At this particular site though, these monkeys were already provisioned, and they had been for years and years and years. So I'm kind of taking advantage of that by using them as my comparison group for monkeys who are not provisioned and who are not living with humans. So I would never provision monkeys on purpose, but since they are, we going to use it and take that data."

JM: And that data is used to plan for the survival of all of Costa Rica's monkeys. Check out our latest project at kidsciencechallenge.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.