Scientists at the University of Sussex are working with local communities in Ecuador to help save one of the world’s rarest species of monkey – and the endangered rainforest where it lives.
Critically endangered: The Brown-headed Spider Monkey
The Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps) is “critically endangered”, which means that without urgent action to protect the 50 known breeding pairs still in the wild, the species could become extinct. The spider monkey – unusual in that it is exclusively a fruit-eater – is under threat because up to 80 per cent of the dense rainforest that it depends on for food has been destroyed.
Environmental organisation Ecuador Terra Incognita, supported by partners including the University of Sussex, has now launched the PRIMENET Project to tackle the crisis. Its aim is to determine how best to protect the monkey populations, now restricted to rainforest reserves in northwest Ecuador, then educate local communities to continue the work and ensure the spider monkey’s long-term survival.
Maggie Clune | alfa
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