Mikaela Gerwing

Concordia University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Sarah E. Turner
Start: 2022-09-06


Correlations between rehabilitant captive capuchin monkey (Sapajus libidinosus) personality and reintroduction success.
I am planning to study the relationships between personality in bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) in rehabilitation settings and post-release success. I plan to follow individuals through the rehabilitation and reintroduction process into Brazilian Caatinga forest regions. The monkeys are Brazilian CETAS center (Wild Animal Screening Centers), a government operated rehabilitation center operating under their ministry of environment. In many countries, especially Latin America any primates being kept illegally as pets, in entertainment, or have been orphaned due to poaching will typically be confiscated by the government. The issue then becomes what should be done with the individuals? The rehabilitation and reintroduction process offers a second chance at life for captive individuals and can have further ranging benefits for population numbers and the ecosystem of the release sight. Primates play important roles in their habitats and are often considered to be critical seed dispersers for vegetation regeneration. Research on capuchin monkeys in the Caatinga forest indicates they are vital to maintaining the delicate balance of biodiversity in the ecosystem. Reintroduction is a valuable tool to maintain or restore genetic, species, ecosystem and functional diversity. There are studies showing links between a primate’s personality traits and their stress response to novel environments which indicates that personality traits may impact acclimation to the wild, and therefore the potential success of reintroduction programs. I plan to test the hypothesis that individuals with bold personalities who display dominant behaviour and are highly ranked in their group will have a higher probability of release success than submissive or low ranked individuals. I further predict that individuals who are strongly integrated into their groups, will have a higher rate of survival than those with fewer social connections within the group In this research, I plan to distinguish behaviour using an ethogram based on a study by Ferreira et al. in which 28 behavioural categories help define personality in rehabilitation and success in post-release monitoring. I will collect data through observational behaviour coding by recording focal samples of bout frequency and duration of each behavioural occurrence. I will conduct post release monitoring and will use GPS collars and camera traps to track the monkeys which will help determine the success of the reintroduction.


wildlife, Conservation, Primates, animalbehaviour, primaterehabilitation, primatereintroduction