Preferences of browse offered to Colobus monkeys

T.C. Tovar, D. Moore and E. Dierenfeld. Source: Zoo Biology 2005
Preferences among four species of local browse offered to Colobus guereza kikuyuensis at the Central Park Zoo.

The objective of this study was to document the browse preferences of five adult Colobus monkeys (one male and four females, fed a nutritionally sound diet) among four local and readily available temperate browse types at the Central Park Zoo.
The four browse species used in part A of the study were nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), mulberry (Morus alba), Russian olive, (Elacagnus angustifolia), and weeping willow (Salix babylonica). During a second trial (part B), weeping willow was replaced by purpleosier willow (Salix purpurea). The Bradley-Terry categorical model for paired comparisons using the LOGISTIC procedure was used to analyze the data with the SAS System for Windows, version 8.2. Individual preferences and group data were examined. The results of this preference study show that the majority of the Colobus troop preferred browse that was relatively low in fiber fractions. The male's preferences differed from those of the females. Nasturtium, which contained the least amount of lignin, was generally favored by the females but was the male's lowest choice in both trials.