|Primates of the Area de Conservacion Regional Comunal Tamshiyacu Tahuayo|
Primates of the Area de Conservacion Regional Comunal Tamshiyacu Tahuayo
The Reserve ACRCTT has a greater diversity of species of monkeys than that recorded in any protected park or reserve in the world. We have anywhere from a minimum of 15 species to up to 19 species, described below:
The Pygmy Marmoset or dwarf monkey is the world's smallest monkey with a body length of only 5-6 inches (15 cm ) and a weight of only 4.5 oz (130 gm). Pygmy Marmosets live in groups made up of 1-2 adult males and 1-2 adult females, with a single breeding female and her offspring. The breeding female gives birth to twins twice a year. Pygmy Marmosets are one of the easiest monkeys to find, with families living close to the main Tahuayo Lodge, on trails leading to the canopy ziplines, on trails behind the canopy ziplines as well as directly across the river from the Amazon Research Center (ARC).
We have two species of these squirrel sized monkeys, the Black-chested Moustached Tamarin and Saddle-backed Tamarin. They are both very attractive species and are relatively easy to find running and jumping along tree branches in groups of 5-20 individuals, located on the trail grid at the ARC, and on the trails behind the main lodge.
The Red-bellied or Dusky Titi Monkey lives in family groups of male, female and 2-3 young. At the crack of dawn the male and female call to each other in a loud staccato duet. From the ARC we typically hear several families every morning. We commonly find titi monkeys on the trail grid behind the ARC and sometimes along the Tahuayo River on motor boat excursions. We believe that in addition to the familiar Red-bellied Titi Monkey we may also have another species of titi monkey unknown to science.
The Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus) is commonly seen by motor boat excursions along the Tahuayo River near the main lodge as well as the ARC. Common Squirrel Monkeys are easily spotted because they live in large groups, of up to 100 individuals. We may have an undescribed species of squirrel monkey in the ACRCTT, which is currently under study. While the Common Squirrel Monkey is a gracile species that lives in troops of up to 100 individuals, the species under investigation has a larger, more robust morphology, different coloration and lives in smaller groups, rarely over 20 individuals.
In addition to the Monk Saki the ACRCTT has another species of saki monkey not known in the scientific literature. Unlike other saki monkeys this species has a bald face, sexual dimorphism and other unique features. It has been the subject of investigation by Dr. Janice Chism for several years. Dr. Chism will be presenting a paper about this new species to the International Primatological Society meeting in Mexico City, August 2012. This exciting, rare species can frequently be found on the trail grid behind the ARC.
Both White-fronted Capuchin and Brown Capuchins are found in the ACRCTT. Capuchins have the largest brain size relative to body size and are considered to be the most intelligent of the New World monkeys. They have a complex social organization consisting of 15-40 individuals. We often see both species of capuchins on the trail grid behind the ARC as well as on motor boat excursions near the ARC.
The calls of the Red Howler Monkey are among the loudest in the world. These monkeys are not easy to find. Only during certain months of the year (November is best) can we locate on the trail to Lake Yarina Nueva (near the ARC) and on the trails walking for some distance behind the main lodge.
The ACRCTT is the only home of the rare Bald Red-faced Uakari Monkey. This very rare species lives in groups of 40-60 individuals. We can sometimes find them on the trail grid behind the ARC when the Mauritia palm fruits are ripe, June-September, and at other times in the terra firme forest (camping) behind the ARC or near the head waters of the Tangarana River, a tributary of the Tahuayo River upstream from the ARC.
Wild Woolly Monkeys are rarely seen on our trips, only rarely on the trail to terra firme forest behind the ARC. We have the Silvery Woolly Monkey in the reserve. A former pet Woolly Monkey, known by the name "Dorilla" was rehabilitated at the main lodge and released on an island across from San Pedro Village on the Rio Blanco, a tributary of the Tahuayo River close to the main lodge. Our boat excursions often visit Dorilla, who may jump from the trees into the motor boat, to explore backpacks and people and eat a banana or orange.
Owl monkeys or night monkeys are the world's only nocturnal monkey. It is not known how many species of owl monkeys live in the ACRCTT. We know that we have Aotus nancymae, possibly Aotus nigriceps and maybe even a third species. These very attractive monkeys are sometimes seen sleeping in tree cavities close to the main lodge and often pose in late afternoon for photos.
The Black Spider Monkey is known to live in the interior of the ACRCTT. We do not typically see them near either lodge.