This experiment is part of the Wildlife Disease Association Challenge Grant Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Dogs, cats and the health of capuchin monkeys at touristic paradise of Costa Rica

Raised of $4,449 Goal
Ended on 10/20/18
Campaign Ended
  • $1,369
  • 31%
  • Finished
    on 10/20/18



Capuchin (Cebus imitator) monkey capture sites will be selected through the characterization and the establishment of optimal areas. These sites will be located near areas with reports of the presence of sick monkeys. Monitoring will be conducted in two periods, rainy and dry seasons. Blood, skin scraping and ectoparasite samples will be collected from free-ranging white-faced monkeys from Montezuma community. The monkeys will be monitored until complete recovery and safely released into their habitat. Sampling will be aimed at domestic dogs and cats, with blood samples and skin scrapings for dermatophytes and ectoparasites collected with the consent of the owners. Body measurements of each dog and cat, race, sex, age, owner information.

Total DNA will be extracted from all samples, real time - Polymerase Chain Reaction will be carried out for the dermatophyte detection. In order to investigate the mycrobiota present on the skin of monkeys, the carpet technique will be used. Ectoparasites will be identified by morphological characteristics through the taxonomic keys.

We will also carry out workshops for young people and women from the Montezuma community where the investigation, control and prevention will be performed.


- Lack of acceptance from the community to the project, which will be solved with prior approaches before the start of the project with stakeholders, community leaders and other influential people from the community.

- Low receptivity from pet owners, to prevent this issue, we will approach pet owners accompanied by the trusted veterinarian of the community.  

- Find the troops of monkeys, especially sick individuals. This will be solved with the help of “baquianos” local field guides which will help us in the field, and that will work with us in advance to locate the troops and correct trapping areas according to their experience with the specie. 

- Proper maintenance of the cold chain for the samples. To prevent this potential problem, we will have the support of local rescue centers and use specialized equipment as a nitrogen dry shipper for the maintenance of the samples when collected. 

Pre Analysis Plan

The results will help us identify patterns and associated processes:

  •   The relationship between environmental characteristics in seasons with land use and human activities, and the prevalence of infectious agents.

  •   The relationship between domestic animals, their parasite community and the susceptibility of capuchin monkeys.

  •  The influence of a coinfections on the susceptibility to agents in a simultaneous manner.

Analysis of Data

With the support of multivariate analysis the variables that determine the presence of these infectious agents and factors favoring or not the establishment of infections are identified.

The prevalence of each agent individually identified and co-infections, as well as environmental variables will be compared between the community and seasons in different buffers; spatial analysis will be performed with the values of environmental variables and land use. Then generalized linear models (GLM) will be implemented to determine how environmental and ecological variables selected, significantly affect the results obtained.