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Oreonax flavicauda in the forest. Photo: Sam Shanee

In 2008 NPC undertook the first long term census of any yellow tailed woolly monkey population. From this study we were able to calculate the density of this species in the forests of La Esperanza. This year we started our second census to be able to accurately determine how the population size has changed since we started our conservation efforts. Preliminary results from the first four months of this study show that groups sizes of this species increased by almost 40% since our first study. Capuchin monkey populations increased even more and they are now 50% larger then in 2008.

We also found out that the community members are respecting their own decision to halt deforestation in this part of the community and almost no new forests where cleared since 2008. Many of the areas that were cleared before are now growing into secondary forests which will soon become primate habitat again. 

These preliminary results are extremely important as they prove that methodologies of community conservation give tangible results for the conservation of endangered species. This methodology respects and stimulates local people’s connection to their neighboring forests. It encourages the community itself to make decisions of how and what to conserve, decisions that are based on stewardship and respect for nature rather then on direct economic benefit.   

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