We investigated the time allocation decisions of lowland woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii) in a terra firma forest in eastern Ecuador where they occur sympatrically with 9 other primate species. Woolly monkeys spent considerable amounts of time searching for and attempting to procure animal prey - roughly as much time as they spent consuming plant material: ripe fruits, leaves, and flowers. The amount of time spent foraging for animal prey is positively related to the habitat-wide availability of ripe fruits (the predominant component of the woolly monkey diet), and negatively related to both ambient temperature and the abundance of potential prey items in the habitat. Time spent resting showed exactly the opposite pattern with respect to these ecological variables. These results suggest that woolly monkeys follow an energy-maximizing strategy of food acquisition during times of fruit abundance - focusing on animal foods and perhaps laying down fat reserves to utilize when ecological conditions worsen - and follow an energy-minimizing strategy when fruit resources are scarce. Such a strong and seasonal commitment to animal prey foraging is unique among the ate-line primates and is not ubiquitous even among lowland woolly monkeys. We suggest that this foraging strategy, and the greater intragroup cohesion that characterizes some populations of Lagothrix, are both opportunistic responses to regional differences in habitat quality. Identifying and accounting for such intraspecific variation should be a goal of any analysis of comparative socioecology.