Characteristics of reproductive biology and proximate factors regulating seasonal breeding in captive golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas)
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
New York, N.Y
American journal of primatology / American Society of Primatologists. - New York, N.Y
, p. 123-137
University of Antwerp
Reproduction is highly demanding in terms of energy expenditure, and the costs and benefits associated with postponing or investing in a reproductive effort are crucial determinants of an individual's fitness. Understanding the reproductive potential of a species under varying ecological conditions offers important insights into the dynamics of its social system. This study provides the first detailed analysis of the reproductive potential of wild- and captive-born golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) under captive conditions, based on studbook data compiled during 1984-2000. Litters produced by wild-born females breeding in captivity are similar in size to litters observed in the wild, but smaller than litters of captive-born females. The more stringent ecological conditions experienced by wild-born females during maturation may result in a lifelong effect on litter size. However, interbirth intervals are shorter for wild-born than captive-born females. The relatively smaller burden of infant care that results from having smaller litters may allow wild-born females to sustain the next pregnancy sooner. Reproduction in the Brazilian captive population is highly seasonal for both wild-born females and females born in captivity in Brazil. Changes in photoperiod over a year provide a proximate explanation for changes in the proportion of conceptions and births per month. Outside Brazil, breeding occurs year-round, and no clear birth peak is apparent. Information from field reports that could be used to relate this finding to ecological factors, such as resource availability, is unavailable. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.