Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The GreenTracks Naturalist

One of the great things about poking around in the rainforest of the upper Amazon basin is the variety of primates found there. In the greater Iquitos region there are at least 14 species of monkey representing two families. There are few places in the world with such a richness of species. The larger varieties such as Woolley, Spider and Red Howler monkeys are much persecuted for their meat, so seeing these often requires a bit of work. On the other hand, many of the smaller species such as tamarinds, Squirrel Monkeys, and Pygmy marmosets can be observed even close to the city. And the Pygmy marmoset is the world’s smallest primate. Goeldi’s Monkey ranks among the most elusive of all animals. And who can forget the bold red face of a Uakari? Hearing the deafening roar of Red Howlers greeting the dawn is an indelibly Amazonian experience and we always associate it with being topside on the deck, coffee, binoculars and bird guides in hand. Here’s a look at a few Amazonian monkeys…

White-bellied spider Monkey (Ateles belzebuth)

Sooty Capuchin (Cebus apella)

Goeldi’s Monkey (Callimico goeldi)

Equatorial Saki Monkey (Pithecia aequatorialis)

Red Uakari (Cacajao calvus rubicunda)



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