Monday, October 3, 2011

And Then There Were Three...

Hi everyone, my name is Chantelle and for the past three weeks I have been following the smallest of the titi monkey families at Yvaga Guazu, G2. With the presumed departure of adopted sub-adult Sol, G2 now consists of Vanessito, my dark, handsome male, Isabel my feisty female and mother to Luna, my juvenille, who never fails to make me smile with a curious tilt of her head.

The G2 family: Isabel, Vanessito and Luna

Vanessito is the brave protector of the group, who boldly patrols the borders of his territory in a periodic fashion each day, often vocalising in all four corners of his territory with or without the input of his loving (if not a little bossy) female, Isabel. He pays particular attention to the safeguarding of his family's beloved mango patch. This prime monkey real-estate is where my family like to spend the majority of their time, relaxing on the shaded branches (often for more than three hours at a time!) in the knowledge that they are surrounded by more mangos than they could possibly know what to do with. Such a bounty undoubtedly attracts the attention of other titi monkey families, and I'm looking forward to the turf battles that will undoubtedly ensue once the mangos are ripe. For now the only family allowed entry to the mango patch while Vanessito is nearby is G4, who's male, Casanova, is Vanessito's brother. G4 is a family of 6, with the newest addition being just a few weeks old. Since my family hasn't had a baby this year, it's nice to occasionally get a chance to watch this family interact with their little one.

Vanessito enjoying his hard earned mangos

Isabel is my feisty young female who, more often than not, will get her own way, a prime example being the grooming hierachy within the family. Several times now I have watched at Vanessito lay down across her 'lap' angling for a little attention from his partner. Sometimes Isabel will oblige, half-heartedly pulling at his fur a minute or so before quickly tiring of such things and switching places to recieve a much more thorough grooming from Vanessito. More recently Isabel showed similar discourtesies to her daughter; just a few days ago I watched as Luna was enjoying being groomed by Vanessito (always the doting dad) while Isabel rested, seemingly content, nearby. When the situation came to Isabel's attention she was quick to swoop in and take up Luna's spot in front of Vanessito. Despite these tendencies, Isabel does have a softer side, often resting tail-twined (the titi monkey characteristic that I find most endearing) with both Luna and Vanessito.

Isabel resting in the groups favourite mango tree, if I can't find my group I can be sure that they'll turn up here sooner or later!

Luna, the youngest of the group, is thought to have been adopted by Vanessito (along with her departed sister Sol) when he paired up with Isabel, after presumably seeing off a rival male. With no other juvenilles or sub-adults in the group, Luna has grown into an independent and courageous little monkey, often staying behind to feed a little longer while Vanessito and Isabel continue on through their territory. I have even witnessed her solo vocalising to a neighbouring chicken patch group, such is her nerve. It is usually Luna that alerts me to the familiy's presence; several times I have not realised that they are feeding right above my head while I scan the trees up ahead. Unaware of my close proximity I hear small alarm calls just above me and look up into the curious little black eyes of Luna, who, despite alarm calling never makes to move away.

Little Luna

It is this courage that seems to be a recurring trait in the G2 family, who, unlike many of the other groups, have never retreated at my presence. In fact, they often creep closer, sometimes to within only a couple of metres, to stare at this strange person who insists of following them aroound while they continue on with their daily business.

1 comment: