The population of white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) in the Sector Santa Rosa (SSR) of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica offers a unique opportunity to model how landscape variability affected selection on early hominins. This species shows many anatomical and behavioral convergences with great apes and humans, and they thrive in a broad range of environmental conditions, including the SSR, which could be considered a microcosm of early hominin environments.
In fall of 2010 Fernando Campos, PhD candidate at the University of Calgary, was awarded a Leakey Foundation research grant for his comprehensive examination of the effects of environmental change on this population of capuchin monkeys. For this project Campos combined behavioral data collected over a period of 18 months with long-term census and demographic data, satellite imagery and genetic sampling. He summarizes his principle findings in the report below.