DR. PATRICIA C. WRIGHT, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, was awarded funding in January 2001 to aid research on 'The Effects of Old Age on the Behavior of Sifakas in Madagascar Rain Forests.' The goal of this project was to assess the effects of aging on various morphological, demographic, and behavioral aspects of the sifaka, Propithecus diadema edwardsi. Publications to date report the following: 1.) testicle size per body weight decreases after age 15; 2.) a significant positive relationship between body size and testicles in non-breeding seasons dissipates in breeding seasons because testicles of lighter males grow more and match heavier males' testicles; 3.) sifakas vary in mating-system category, and infants survive equally well in all types of groups; 4.) the mortality, survivorship, and life-expectancy schedules indicate high infant and juvenile mortality (fertility remains high until death -- an adult sifaka at the end of her lifespan will have one only daughter who survives to reproductive age, compared to 3.4 for New or 2.7 for Old World monkeys); 6.) long-term research plays an integral part in conservation and establishing successful national parks. Work is underway to examine the role of aging in feeding behavior, aggression, migration, and scent marking. Analysis of data on toothware, grooming, vocalizations, and parasites has been collected and will be forthcoming.
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
New York, Stony Brook, State U. of
Wright, Dr. Patricia C., State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'The Effects of Old Age on the Behavior of Sifakas in Madagascar Rain Forests'