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New species of titi monkey discovered. Photo: Rodrigo Costa Araújo
New species of titi monkey discovered. Photo: Rodrigo Costa Araújo

A new species of marmoset monkey discovered in Brazil

In the Brazilian Amazon, scientists have identified a new species of marmoset.  

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In central-western Brazil, scientists found a primate with white fur on the head, gray on the body, black and golden on the legs and a completely black tail. It is now called the Schneideri monkey, named in honor of Professor Horacio Schneider, a pioneer and important contributor to research on the diversity and evolution of monkeys.
 
The Schneideri monkey is found in the higher regions of the Juruena and Teles-Pires basins, in the state of Mato Grosso, central-western Brazil.
 
The discovery of the species was published in the journal Scientific Reports, in research led by Rodrigo Costa Araújo, current associate researcher of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi.
 
This new monkey had actually already been described in previous studies in 1995, but had been erroneously classified as part of the species Emiliae.
 
The small, Schneideri monkeys can only be found in the forests of the 'deforestation arc,' a region that has been heavily threatened by indiscriminate logging in the last decade. Just in 2020, the Amazon lost about 2.3 million hectares of primary forest, the third worst record in the last 20 years.
 
Like these monkeys in Brazil, many others are also threatened by the lack of strategies to protect their habitat. The scientists of this finding hope to continue investigating the presence of Amazonian marmosets occupying these forests to raise awareness for the conservation of this group of monkeys.
 
Other monkey species in danger
 
The white-headed tamarin monkey (Saguinus oedipus), a species endemic to northern Colombia, is critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This is due to the illegal trafficking of its specimens and the loss of its habitat in the country. 
 
The white-headed tamarin monkeys are led by a female, unlike other species that are led by a male. 
 
The spider monkey is also another endangered species, as it is threatened by hunters who seek to trap them for food. In addition, their habitats in Colombia and Venezuela is used for activities such as mining, illicit crop growing and cattle ranching.
 
The howler monkey, which is characterized by its powerful howl and can be found from southern Mexico to northeastern Argentina, is also endangered by hunting for illegal trafficking as a pet or food, and by the loss of the trees that serve as its home.
 
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth) is listed in the LC category, i.e., of least concern.
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