Wild primates can spend up to half of their lives sleeping, during which time they are subjected to many of the same selective pressures that they face when awake. Choosing an appropriate sleeping site can thus have important fitness consequences. We examined the sleeping site preferences of wild hooded capuchins (Sapajus cay) in a small degraded fragment of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest at Rancho Laguna Blanca (RLB) in eastern Paraguay. Sleeping trees and sites were identified during 5 months of field observations and their physical characteristics were compared to those of non-sleeping trees and sites. Capuchins preferred larger emergent trees with more main and forked branches, no lianas and denser undergrowth directly below. These were found in sites of more mature forest with fewer small trees, less liana coverage and denser undergrowth but more fruiting trees. The species composition of the sleeping sites differed from that of the non-sleeping sites and was dominated by Albizia niopoides (Mimosaceae) as well as Peltophorum dubium (Fabaceae) and Anadenanthera colubrina (Fabaceae). The capuchins were found to sleep most often in these three tree species: 69.23% in Albizia niopoides (Mimosaceae), 11.54% in Peltophorum dubium (Fabaceae) and 11.54% in Anadenanthera colubrina (Fabaceae). We found evidence for the predator avoidance, thermoregulatory, social contact and feeding site proximity hypotheses. We found no support for parasite avoidance, given the reuse of sites, although the small size of the forest fragment may have restricted this. Their preference for older-growth forest suggests that selective logging impacts hooded capuchins. However, their persistence in a disturbed fragment shows they are highly adaptable, providing support for the value of conservation and reforestation of even small fragments of the Paraguayan Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest.
- Hooded capuchin
- Tree characteristics
- Upper Parana´ Atlantic Forest