20 Records out of 22207 Records

Epidemiological investigation of bovine tuberculosis in the wildlife-livestock interphase in the Masai Mara and Amboseli ecosystems of Kenya

Author: Lekolool, Isaac Ltajewa

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Masai Mara, Kenya ; Amboseli, Kenya ; Ecosystems ; Tuberculosis ; Livestock ; Wildlife ; Epidemiology ; Mycobacterium bovis ;

Abstract:

Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a chronic bacterial disease of cattle caused by Mycobacterium bovis (M bovis) that occasionally affects other species of mammals. The disease can have a major economic impact on livestock productivity with the potential of affecting entire ecosystems due to wildlife reservoirs. It is also a significant zoonosis that can spread to humans hence a disease of Public Health importance. There is substantial movement of livestock and wildlife between Kenya and Tanzania creating a potential interphase for disease transmission. Information on BTB in Kenya is very scanty hence the need for studies to ascertain the status. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis in' the wildlife-livestock interphase in Kenya. The specific objectives were to determine prevalence and spatial distribution of Mycobacterium bovis in selected wildlife, and livestock species in the study areas and also assess risk factors associated with Mycobacterium bovis in the wildlife-livestock-human interphase. The study areas were Masai Mara and Amboseli ecosystems in Kenya bordering Tanzania on the South Western and South Eastern parts respectively. This was a cross sectional study involving cattle populations in the study areas and wildlife which were selected purposively. Cattle were physically restrained, ear tagged and sampled while wildlife were chemically immobilized prior to sampling. All samples were geo-referenced and maintained under cold chain for transportation to the laboratory for analysis. Blood samples from livestock and wildlife were subjected to two screerung tests, Stat-Pak? and Bovigam. Stat-Pak? IS an immunochromatographic lateral flow technique that employs a unique cocktail of recombinant mycobacteria proteins bound to a membrane solid phase. Bovigam is an in-vitro laboratory test for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis that detects the amount of gamma interferon produced on stimulating whole blood with purified protein derivatives (PPD). In total 346 animals (both wildlife and livestock) and 253 lymph node samples (cattle, sheep and goats) were included in this study and investigated for bovine TB. Livestock comprised 231 out of the 289 animals (79.9%) sampled in Masai Mara and 34 out of the 57 animals (59.7%) in Amboseli. Colonies from the cultures that had growth were harvested and an acid fast bacilli (AFB) staining done. The AFB positive colonies were further subjected to mycobacterium genus PCR to check for members of the mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. The prevalence on positive tuberculin test in Amboseli (6.25%) was higher than that in the Masai Mara. Using Stat-Pak?, the prevalence in Masai Mara was 35.4% and this was significantly higher than the prevalence of 14.7% in the study in Amboseli, i (1) = 5.8, P = 0.018. The prevalence on using Bovigam? for bovine TB among wildlife was 14.8% (12 out of 81) compared to an overall prevalence of 2.3% (6 out of 265) among the livestock. Out of the 218 bovine lymph node samples, 38 (17.4%) had Mycobacteria growth compared to 2 out of 10 (16.7%) samples obtained from goats and 6 out of 25 in sheep. On mycogenus PCR, none of the AFB positive samples were found to be positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Livestock were found to play an important role in the epidemiology ofBTB in the study areas. Most of the test positive wildlife were those found to be in close interaction with the livestock and those closer to the Tanzanian border in . the Amboseli ecosystem appearing to be more at risk. It is recommended that some of the positive reactors should be followed to slaughter with the view of obtaining tissue samples for culture and PCR for confirmation of M bovis.

'Staying together' : people-wildlife relationships in a pastoral society in transition, Amboseli ecosystem, southern Kenya.

Author: Ferreira de Lima Roque de Pinho, Maria Joana

Awarding University: Colorado State University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Biological sciences ; Animal behavior ; Pastoralists ; Wildlife ; Amboseli, Kenya ;

Abstract:

This study looks at three dimensions of the relationship between Maasai and wildlife: attitudes towards wildlife; cultural models of human-wildlife relationships; the aesthetic value of wildlife and its relation to support for wildlife conservation. First, I found that attitudes varied with land tenure, formal education, religion and gender. I used a regression analysis to identify predictors of positive attitudes towards wildlife. Being a Christian is the strongest predictor, followed by being male and residing on communal land. Second, I followed a cognitive anthropology approach to analyze how Maasai relate to wildlife. 'Cultural models' are implicit, shared cognitive representation of a conceptual domain that mediate our understanding of the world and are differentially distributed, socially transmitted and correlated with behavior. I investigated content and distribution of Maasai models of their relationship with wildlife. With discourse analysis, I identified two contrasting models of human-wildlife relationships. In the 'traditional' model, wildlife are seen as different from cows in everything but as having the right to be on the land since God meant for humans, cows and wildlife to 'stay together'. In contrast, in the 'modern' model, wild animals are useful and income-generating like cows, but people wish to be separated from them. I used cultural consensus analysis to determine the distribution of agreement with each model. It shows that there is one consensual model that is close to the 'modern' model. This study shows a shift towards models of human-wildlife relationships that are informed by western culture, the market economy and conservation. The consensual model contrasts with the vision that conservationists have for the ecosystem. Investigating stakeholders' cultural models is a step towards addressing such conflicts. Lastly, I examine the role of aesthetic value in human-wildlife relationships. I show that Maasai appreciate visual beauty in wild animals and enjoy the sight of wild animals. Then, I determine that there is an association between how Maasai aesthetically value species, preferences thereof and support for their conservation. The community-based conservation approach emphasizes the economic value of wildlife to local communities. This study suggests that these strategies would benefit from considering non-economic dimensions of human-wildlife relationships

Long- and short-term dynamics of the wetlands in the Amboseli savanna ecosystem, Kenya.

Author: Sarkar, Sunita

Awarding University: University of Waterloo, Canada

Level : PhD

Year: 2007

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Biological sciences/Grasslands/Amboseli, Kenya/Wetlands/ ;

Abstract:

The wetlands of the semi-arid savanna ecosystem of Amboseli are the critical dry-season range for a diverse wildlife population, as well as for livestock and humans. Changes in the migratory patterns and increases in the population of the elephants in the ecosystem, as well as a shift in the lifestyle of the growing human population from predominantly nomadic pastoralist society to a sedentary agrarian community, has had far-reaching effects on the ecosystem and the wetlands. In this thesis, the current status of the wetlands and the changes in vegetation over the last four decades were examined using satellite imagery and long-term census data. Studies were also conducted to determine the impact of grazing by elephants and other large mammals on wetland vegetation, and the flooding patterns and extents of some of the wetlands were examined. Long-term aerial count data indicated that the wetlands that are currently protected by the Amboseli National Park have been under increasing use year-round by elephants since 1975. These wetlands showed a rapid increase in extent between 1950 and 1976. This corresponds to the elephant-driven decline in Acacia xanthophloea woodlands, which may have changed the hydrology of the area. Since then, only one of the wetlands, Longinye, has shown dynamic changes in extent. This is either the effect of the blockage of water flow by vegetation or the creation of new channels by elephants and hippopotami. The wetlands had a diverse range of wetland habitat from areas of open water with scattered tall Cyperus papyrus communities in the centre of one wetland to large expanses of seasonally inundated C. laevigatus and Cynodon dactylon dominated habitats fringing the wetlands. Most of the wetland habitats were composed of short sedges and grasses, which was shown to be the direct result of elephant grazing. Elephants tended to keep the vegetation of a control wetland short and of low biomass during both wet and dry seasons, whereas the vegetation in a treatment wetland, where elephants were excluded, showed a rapid increase in biomass and height. Other herbivores were shown to maintain conditions of short vegetation of low biomass through grazing pressure in the dry season. The impact of natural and simulated grazing on growth of the vegetation was studied and only under simulated grazing pressure was growth increased in the seasonally inundated C. dactylon grasslands, as well as the floating mat communities dominated by C. laevigatus that occur in the shallow water wetlands. This indicates that natural grazing may be detrimental either to the plants or the soil. The wetlands that are under human use had predominantly shallow water and seasonal wetland habitat. Deep water habitat with C. papyrus communities was only present in one of these wetlands, Kimana, which is also the only wetland outside the park that is used by livestock and wildlife, as well as to irrigate a large area of land around the wetland. Two other wetlands, Namelok and Lenkir that were predominantly used for irrigated agriculture, were largely composed of seasonally inundated wetland habitat. A fourth wetland, Esoitpus, has been almost completely drained and this has most likely resulted in the development of A. xanthophloea and C. dactylon dominated riverine and C. laevigatus/C. dactylon dominated seasonally inundated wetland communities. Overall, the wetlands in the park provide a measure of habitat diversity that may be useful for various invertebrate and vertebrate communities. However, the present lack of tall sedges may negatively impact the bird community. This state can be reversed by the exclusion of elephants from some wetlands for short periods of time. On the other hand, the wetlands outside the park appear to be facing rapid draw-down. Hence, there is an urgent need for sound water management practices for these wetlands.

Endocrine correlates and fitness consequences of variation in the mother-infant relationship in wild baboons (Papio cynocephalus) in Amboseli, Kenya.

Author: Nguyen, Nga

Awarding University: Princeton University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: ;

Subject Terms: Biological sciences ; Animal behavior ; Monkeys and apes ; Papio cynocephalus ; Baboons ; Amboseli, Kenya ;

Abstract:

For animals, mammalian neonates are unusually dependent on their mothers for growth and survival, and a major goal of mammalian reproductive biology is to understand the causes and consequences of variation in infant caretaking behaviors among mothers. I investigated the endocrine correlates and fitness consequences of variation in the mother-infant relationship in five groups of wild baboons ( Papio cynocephalus ) of known demographic history and genealogical relationships in Amboseli, Kenya. I used non-invasive techniques to measure excreted steroid hormones from mothers across the perinatal period, and data from both patterns of behavior between parents, infants and other group members, and the long-term (>30 years) genetic, demographic and reproductive records for this population. First, I show that fecal glucocorticoid levels during late pregnancy predicted maternal responsiveness to infant distress cries after birth. This study provides the first evidence for the preparative actions of glucocorticoids for responding to a predictable challenge (i.e. motherhood) in a wild animal population. Second, I show that sex differences in the mother-infant relationship exist during the early postnatal period, differences that are consistent with the lives of offspring as adults. I show that mothers are more permissive of male than female infants, and that maternal dominance rank and fecal estrogen levels during late pregnancy are more predictive of the suckling behavior of female than male infants. My results suggest that the mother's social world has a greater influence on the lives of female infants, and are among the first evidence of sex differences in the mother-offspring relationship during infancy in wild primates. Third, I examine the patterning of associations between adult males and new mothers during the early postnatal period and evaluate two hypotheses for why close associations (or 'friendships') between males and females might be adaptive for each sex. I show that friendships with males provide mothers and infants protection from harassment by other females, but are not associated with risk of infanticide by other adult males. Finally, I examine the predictors of birth intervals and explore the possible proximate pathways through which suckling behavior and postpartum progesterone may mediate the effects of maternal dominance rank on birth intervals in this and other mammal populations.

Ecotourism and its effects on the livelihoods of the host community and natural resource management : a case study of Amboseli , Kenya.

Author: Ndirima, Zacchaeus Kinuthia

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2002

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Upper Kabete Library ;

Subject Terms: Tourism ; Community ; Resource management ; Amboseli, Kenya ; Wildlife ; Ecotourism ;

Abstract:

Amboseli ecosystem. The study aimed at characterising ecotourism and assessing whether satisfaction was derived out of its experience; comparing vegetation attributes and wildlife numbers in areas of different ecotourism intensities; assessing ecotourism effects on the livelihoods of the host community and natural resource management; and documenting the constraints facing its progress in the area. Study involved surveys on visitors to the ecosystem and the local community through the administration of questionnaires, vegetation sampling and animal counting that were field inventory based, and analysis on stakeholders through discussions. Stratified sampling was adopted for the survey on the community, wildlife counting and vegetation sampling. Results indicated that most visitors came from the European countries (44.6%) and America (36.6%), and were interested in natural features. Wildlife safaris (96.1%) and photography (89.1%) formed the major tourist activities, which may have resulted from lack of tourism package diversification. Most visitors were satisfied with their trip experience (68.3%) and expressed the will to make a repeat trip to the place (99%). Visitation declined over the last decade (1990-2000) from over 200,000 to 87,000, which was attributed to declining environmental quality and competition from southern African nations among other factors affecting both regional and national tourism. The ecotourism effect on the livelihoods of the host community was more felt amongst the actively involved households through sale of artefacts and employment. The incomes obtained helped reduce the reliance on livestock for the involved households (60%) in comparison to pastoral (97.1%) and farming (65.7%) households. Non-actively involved households mostly benefited through social projects. The pastoral households expressed a negative attitude to ecotourism and wildlife. Inequitable distribution of benefits (>70% in each group) was the most cited limitation to ecotourism. This made ecotourism an unattractive land use to most residents. There was continued reliance therefore on other land uses for survival. Costs from ecotourism unlike benefits were widespread and were related to competition for resources, disease transmission to livestock, loss of lives and injuries and the change of traditional practices and rules that governed proper resource use. Regarding the positive aspects, ecotourism promotion enhanced the adoption of mechanisms for waste disposal, water treatment and pollution control amongst the lodge operators. It also encouraged the maintenance and increase of wild fauna. Wildlife species were evenly distributed in the area, showing no significant differences (P<0.05) in the three sites during the wet season. Significant differences (P<0.05) only occurred along distance gradients in the pastoral and nature-based tourism sites. The woody vegetation parameters under study too showed significant differences (P<0.05) among sites and along distances within sites. The participation' of local people in ecotourism activities resulted in settlements, increased livestock numbers and reduced mobility that caused overgrazing and The study therefore recommends that wildlife population dynamics be closely monitored to maintain environmental quality, environmental impact assessment be carried out before ,. initiating community ecotourism projects, and diversification of tourism activities be enhanced. A mechanism should also be developed to ensure equitable sharing of benefits and promotion of environmental awareness amongst the local people.

A model of wildlife conservation and community development for the Maasai people of East Africa.

Author: Roth, Richard Michael

Awarding University: University of Alberta, Canada

Level : PhD

Year: 2001

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Ecology/Masai (African people)/Kuku Field Studies Centre, Kenya/Tsavo, Kenya/Amboseli, Kenya/Wildlife conservation/Biological diversity/Socioeconomic factors/ ;

Abstract:

The field of conservation biology arose out of questions of population dynamics and species survival. While much species- and population-centred research has been undertaken, less research focuses on mechanisms for protecting land and water for biodiversity conservation. Community-based conservation programmes suggest that human socio-economic objectives and conservation goals are not necessarily incompatible. There is a need for community-based conservation models in countries such as Kenya where high population growth and density rates exist alongside high levels of biodiversity. Research was initiated to develop and evaluate a community-based conservation project with a Maasai community that draws upon tourism revenues to operate an education centre that will achieve local development and conservation aims. A qualitative research approach was used to investigate the claims of community-based conservation. The Kuku Field Studies Centre case study in the Tsavo-Amboseli region of Kenya demonstrates the practicalities of utilising this conservation tool in a setting of non- consumptive wildlife utilisation. Triangulation of social action research methods including interviews, key informant information, participant observation, and comparison techniques resulted in the formulation of grounded theory in community-based conservation. Results after four years of project development indicate that socio-economic benefits have flowed from the project to the community. Conservation benefits of the project are less apparent, although it is anticipated that environmental education initiatives will slow the rate of environmental degradation. It is suggested that conservation benefits from community-based conservation projects will be difficult to measure due to their long term nature and the difficulty of attributing conservation success/failure to a single intervention, especially given the dynamic nature of change in developing countries. It was concluded that locally appropriate budgets and time frames, financial self-sustainability, addressing socio-economic concerns, strong local institutional support, and the presence of a facilitator external to the local community were important in achieving a working model for community-based conservation. A comparison with the failed kimana community wildlife sanctuary highlights the interplay of the above factors to enable growth of a viable initiative. It is hoped that the Kuku model will be applied in other situations and in other countries to test the theoretical advances postulated.

Community partnerships for tourism development : examining levels of involvement in a Kenyan case study.

Author: Evans, Nadine Julie

Awarding University: University of Guelph, Canada

Level : MSc

Year: 2000

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Tourism ; Planning ; Community ; Amboseli, Kenya ;

Abstract:

Perceived perception of community participation in the process of planning for tourism development are examined in the Amboseli region, Kajiado District, Kenya using S. Arnstein (1969) Ladder of citizen participation as a model. Analysis shows that both the government and the local people perceive and define citizen participation differently. Although a partnership programme between each party is currently in place, evidence demonstrates that the level of citizen participation is still at the manipulation stage. A conceptual model has been suggested as a tool to determine a desired level of citizen participation and strategies to successfully achieve that level. By determining and achieving such an optimal level, planning for tourism development in a community setting may be sustained.

Levels of selected trace elements in Olkaria geothermal field and their health implications for grazing wild animals (Zebra Equus burchelli and Buffalo Syncerus caffer) in Hell's gate national park, Kenya

Author: Simiyu, Gelas Muse

Awarding University: Moi University, Kenya

Level : DPhil

Year: 2000

Holding Libraries: Moi University Margaret Thatcher Library ;

Subject Terms: Olkaria, Kenya/Amboseli, Kenya/Cynodon nlemfuensis/Wildlife/Hell's Gate National Park/Trace elements/Zebra/Equus burchelli/Syncerus caffer/ ;

Abstract:

The study was aimed at investigating the concentrations of trace elements zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), lead (Pb) and molybdenum (Mo) in water, soil and grass Cynodon nlemfuensis in Olkaria geothermal field and at the Amboseli reference site. The accumulation of these trace elements was also investigated at the tissue of zebra Equus burchelli and buffalo Syncerus caffer from the Olkaria area and in the Amboseli reference site. The Olkaria geothermal waters recorded the hiqhest concentrations of trace elements, especially for Pb (21.0:t11.0ppb and Mo (39.0?28.0ppb) compared to the reference area (5.0?2.0ppb and 3.0?1.0ppb), respectively. Calculated molar Cu:Mo ratio of geothermal water was below the 2-3 Cu deficiency indicator ratio. The soils of the study area contained higher trace elements compared to the reference area. Notably, Zn and Pb soil maximum concentration values of 87.9ppm and 15.00ppm were above worldwide 'normal' soil concentration values 1-50 ppm and 0.5-5.0 ppm, respectively. The dry season showed relatively high Pb concentrations, possibly due to evaporative concentrations. Concentrations of Pb, Cd, and Co in Cynodon nlemfuensis in Olkaria were above the 'normal' plant concentration levels (0.1-2.0ppm Pb, O.2-0.5ppm Cd and O.1ppm Co). Serum trace element concentrations were within 'normal' serum/blood concentrations in healthy animals, except Co, which was low in serum obtained from zebra of the Olkaria zone. Bioconcentration factors indicated variability in animal species abilities to accumulate the trace elements in the organs. Generally the trace element concentrations had not accumulated to zootoxic levels. However, rligtlest Cu concentrations (230 ppm) in the liver of buffalo Syncerus caffer and Co concentrations (21.33ppm) in the kidney of zebra Equus burchelli both from Olkaria, were above those regarded as normal (55.lppm Cu and 0.32-5.58ppm Cd) for healthy animals. This study established that geothermal waters, soils and grass studied, especially In terms of potentially toxic elements Pb and Cd, and deficiency related elements Cu, Mo and Co are a potential health hazard to the grazing wild animals. Therefore it is suggested that the trace element levels in the habitat and in wild animals need to be monitored regularly in terms of animal and human health especially in the case of game meat consumption. There is also need for developing exposure model for predicting risk so as to warn in advance, in case geothermal activities surpassed the carrying capacity of the natural ecosystem, thereby threatening existence of biodiversity.

Spatio-temporal effects of land use changes in a savanna wildlife area of Kenya.

Author: Esikuri, Enos Eleazar

Awarding University: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1998

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Grasslands ; Wildlife conservation ; Ecosystems ; Amboseli, Kenya ; Amboseli National Park, Kenya ; Land use ;

Abstract:

Land use changes have been shown to have significant effects on wildlife species. Sixty three percent of the national parks and reserves in Kenya are located in the savannas. Because of the seasonality associated with savanna ecosystems, 75% of the wildlife species and numbers in Kenya occur in savanna nonpark areas. Therefore, conservation of wildlife in Kenya has to address the changes that are taking place in savanna areas outside parks. I studied land use changes and their effects on elephant habitat quality in Amboseli basin, Kenya. I used visual interpretation to analyze land use changes from satellite images for 1975, 1988, and 1993. I determined that during the evaluation period, conversion of areas to agricultural land has been unidirectional. The hectarage under cultivation was 2,937, 10,950, and 24,476 for 1975, 1988, and 1993 respectively. Trend analysis seems to suggest that during the evaluation period, conversion of areas to agricultural land has followed an exponential function (r<super>2</super> = 0.99) in Amboseli basin. The area under cultivation was 6.9% Of the total area studied. This is small but significant considering that agricultural land was almost exclusively located in areas that form the dry season fall back areas. Such areas are important for the survival of elephants and other species during critical periods. I developed a dry season Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the African elephant based on the density of acacia trees (# of trees > 5 cm dbh/ha) and distance (km) to natural sources of water in the basin. The amount of good quality habitat (i.e., HSI > 0.6) declined from 74,666 ha in 1975 to 54,890 ha in 1988, to 23,208 ha in 1993. This is a drop of 51,890 ha (65.5%) of good quality habitat in the basin. On the other hand, low quality habitat (HSI &lt; 0.2)increased by 272% between 1975 and 1993. The weighted HSI values in the basin showed a decline, as did the habitat units for the 3 evaluation years. The weighted HSI declined by 0.13 between 1975 and 1993, while the total habitat units (ha) declined by 40,567 ha during the 18 year period. It appears that elephant habitat quality has steadily declined in the Amboseli basin during the period considered in this study. The use of nonpark areas by elephants leads to direct interaction and conflicts with humans. Between June 1996 and July 1997, I recorded a total of 489 elephant damage incidents while the Amboseli National Park authorities recorded 143. The damage types were crops, livestock deaths, and human deaths and injuries. The majority of the damage cases involved crop depredation. The Amboseli National Park authorities significantly under-reported the number of elephant damage incidents in the basin (p &lt; 0.0001).

Socioecological correlates of parental care and demography in savanna baboons.

Author: Muruthi, Philip M

Awarding University: Princeton University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1997

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Animal behavior ; Animal reproduction ; Baboons ; Amboseli, Kenya ; Laikipia, Kenya ;

Abstract:

I investigated one of the causes of variation in reproductive success: differences in the amounts of care that females offered their young. Time spent in maternal care, delay in subsequent reproduction and maternal mortality, reflected differences in habitat quality and maternal social status, in a non-linear manner. Infants in the richest foraging condition (lodge group, Amboseli, Kenya) spent more time suckling and in physical contact with their mothers than their wild-feeding counterparts. Wild-feeding mothers in the intermediate foraging condition (Mpala group, Laikipia, Kenya) spent less time in maternal care than those in the poorest foraging condition (Hook's group, Amboseli, Kenya). As their infants grew older, wild-feeding mothers reduced resting time to increase feeding time. Hook's group mothers also reduced social time when feeding time increased. Improved food availability was associated with shorter daily travel and less infant carrying. Low-ranking mothers spent more time caring for their infants than high- ranking mothers. Due to interaction effects, the amounts of maternal care varied from one condition to another. Infant development might occur earlier in richer than poorer habitats. Increased maternal care resulted in reduced ability to return to estrus and reconceive. Mothers whose infants spent more time suckling (Hook's group), experienced longer interbirth intervals than mothers whose infants spent less time suckling (Mpala group). Females whose infants died recycled sooner than those successfully rearing their infants. Maternal mortality was highest among wild-feeding mothers. Low- ranking mothers experienced longer delays in subsequent reproduction than high-ranking mothers. Food-enhanced mothers sustained the suckling demands of the current infants as well as part of their new pregnancies without increasing infant mortality. The decision to lower maternal care may be influenced by the probability of the next conception without increasing infant mortality. Improvements in habitat quality led to shorter interbirth intervals, higher rates of natality, survivorship, earlier age of first reproduction and increases in group size.