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New Titi Monkey Species Discovered

Universidad Nacional de Colombia Professors Thomas Defler and Marta Bueno along with Javier Garcia, an undergraduate biology student in the same department, discovered a new titi monkey species (Callicebus caquetensis) in the Amazon forest of Colombia. Javier Garcia is a native of the area called Caquetá where the monkey species was discovered. He walked to an area of the upper Caquetá River using GPS and was able to hear their calls, and then found 13 groups of them. For many years the area had been used by insurgents and was considered dangerous, so exploration was not happening.

Photographs of the new monkey are here. Audio of the monkey’s morning call is here in an mp3.

Dr. Defler said, “This discovery is extremely exciting because we had heard about this animal, but for a long time we could not confirm if it was different from other titis. We now know that this is a unique species, and it shows the rich diversity of life that is still to be discovered in the Amazon.”

The newly discovered monkey had a red bushy beard, and is about the size of a house cat. It has grayish-brown hair, and long tail with gray markings. They are thought to be monogamous and have one baby per year. They live in trees near the Caquetá River.

The discovery was both exciting and dismaying, because there are only about 250 of the Caqueta Titi monkeys in a forest area that is being cut down to use for agriculture. The monkeys are considered to be critically endangered and at high risk for extinction.

José Vicente Rodríguez, head of science at Conservation International in Colombia said, “When world leaders meet later this year in Japan for the Convention on Biological Diversity, they must commit to the creation of many more protected areas if we want to ensure the survival of threatened creatures like this in the Amazon and around the world.” Conservation International supported the research project which led to the monkey’s discovery.

Image Credit: Javier Garcia and Conservation International

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5:25PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012


2:38PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Wow, how cute.

11:19AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Good news. Proves we do not know it all and have a duty of care

10:05AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Again, good. Poor babies, it doesn't sound like it has much of a chance for survival though.

8:16AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Don't tell anyone where it is... someone might eat it or hurt it. Great news to hear of its existence - thanks.

3:13AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Thanks for this great article.

1:24PM PST on Dec 15, 2011


11:51AM PST on Dec 15, 2011

fantastic news, thank you

8:56AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011


8:56AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011


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