We examined the association between geographic distribution, ecological traits, life history, genetic diversity, and risk of extinction in nonhuman primate species from Costa Rica. All of the current nonhuman primate species from Costa Rica are included in the study; spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata), capuchins (Cebus capucinus), and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedii). Geographic distribution was characterized accessing existing databases. Data on ecology and life history traits were obtained through a literature review. Genetic diversity was characterized using isozyme electrophoresis. Risk of extinction was assessed from the literature. We found that species differed in all these traits. Using these data, we conducted a Pearson correlation between risk of extinction and ecological and life history traits, and genetic variation, for widely distributed species. We found a negative association between risk of extinction and population birth and growth rates; indicating that slower reproducing species had a greater risk of extinction. We found a positive association between genetic variation and risk of extinction; i.e., species showing higher genetic variation had a greater risk of extinction. The relevance of these traits for conservation efforts is discussed.
Keywords: new world monkeys, alouatta palliata, ateles geoffroyi, cebus capucinus, saimiri oerstedii, isozymes, habitat destruction, biological conservation