The Reality of the Primate Pet Trade

We have some very sad news.

Camacho, the rescued baby capuchin monkey, died on the 29th of August while in the temporary custody of the wildlife authorities. This happened just before he was supposed to be sent to a rescue centre where he would have begun his rehabilitation.

While in custody, he received lots of medical attention but still succumbed to his illness, which had caused intestinal ulcers and perforations. We cannot be sure what caused these issues, but it is likely that the illness began before his rescue.

Camacho was a 4-5 month old baby that had been kept as a pet, having been taken from his mother in the forest. In the wild, capuchin monkeys stay with their mothers for approximately 2 years, during which time they are carried, fed, and taught how to survive, as well as cleaned and shown the group territory.

Keeping primates as pets is very traumatic, especially the maternal separation when captured. In the majority of cases the mother, and sometimes other group members, are shot.

On top of this, it is very hard to provide adequate conditions for the infant’s survival. It is estimated that for every animal which survives to become a pet, 8 or 9 others died during different parts of the illegal traffic stream. For these and other reasons the trade and keeping of wildlife is illegal!

Venado Verde Campaign Launched!

The NPC team have been very busy over the last month preparing for the launch of our new campaign: Save Venado Verde!

The campaign brings together international artists and conservationists in a unified attempt to protect 2,000 acres of threatened forest land on Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Find out more about this creative campaign on our dedicated page: Venado Verde Campaign

Monkeys Rescued!

Last Saturday our volunteers alerted us to a large headed capuchin monkey (Sapajus macrocephalus) on the roof of a house in Moyobamba. The monkey was possibly a pet that had escaped from a nearby house.

We informed the Regional Environmental Authorities, who immediately seized the animal. The same day, the authorities also received a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sp.) which was handed in voluntarily by the person who found it.

For now, both monkeys are being kept by ARA until an appropriate rescue centre is able to receive them. We have been helping feed and care for both animals as well as taking them for their veterinary checks.

Luckily both monkeys are in good health, although they are very attached to people. We are very grateful to the team of ARA – Moyobamba for her quick and decisive action in this case.

Wild Animals are not Pets!

Woolly Monkey Rescue

Yesterday we were very pleased to be able to help the wildlife authorities of San Martin with transport and medical tests for two common woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagothricha). These victims of illegal wildlife trafficking were being transferred to a rescue centre in Loreto. Thankfully they were given a clean bill of health and we were able to send them immediately. At their new home they will have more space and be able to mix with others of their species, and maybe even return to the wild in the future.

Camera Trap in Action

It’s always exciting to go through camera trap photos! Here’s a selection from the latest batch, the star of the show is definitely the ocelot for sure, we confirmed the species at the site previously, but this is the first time we’ve caught it on camera trap.

Thanks to our conservation efforts for primates we are also protecting many other species with which they share their forest home.

New Paper on Primate Rehabilitation

A massive congratulations to the authors, including NPC Peru board member Patricia Mendoza, on this new paper out today in the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group journal Primate Conservation “Challenges to IUCN Guideline Implementation in the

Rehabilitation and Release of Trafficked Primates in Peru”

The paper can be downloaded freely from this link

New Population of Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkeys Found!

Amazing news! Last year Sean McHugh passed us information about a new population of yellow tailed woolly monkeys far to the south of their known distribution (Recently published in the journal Oryx, McHugh et al 2019). Since then, together with the Equipo Primate Loreto, We have been surveying the areas between the previously known distribution and the new sighting. Now, thanks to Elvis Charpentier Uraco, we have been able to find them, and even further south than the previous sighting. Our survey work will continue until we know the limits of their distribution in these new areas. This is really good news for the species as it means their population size may be significantly larger than thought, helping protect them against extinction.

In the photos below you can see the clear phenotypic differences between the southern population (upper) and the northern population (lower).

Photos thanks to Elvis Charpentier and Andrew Walmsley

Thanks to Primate Society of Great BritainInternational Primatological Society,
American Society of Primatologists (Members of the American Society of Primatologists) and Primate Conservation Inc. for funding the study.

New Species Action Plan

At the end of last week NPC Colombia, The Ministry of the Environment (Colombia) and WCS Colombia held a workshop for the making of the national species action plan for the Critically Endangered Colombia black spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps), in Pereira. The workshop was attended by 25 representative of universities, NGOs, government departments and community groups. A huge thank you to UKUMARI biopark for hosting the event and to Luz Dary Acevedo (WCS), Andrés Link (Fundación Proyecto Primates), Andrea Echeverry (ACOPAZOA) and to Nick Davis (Chester Zoo). After many intense sessions we were able to form the basis of the action plan and start a collaborative network of institutions to work for the conservation of the species. We thank Chester Zoo, EAZA and the Primate Action Fund for their generous help supporting this workshop.

Animal Rescue in Yurimaguas

Today we were involved in the rescue of two endangered white bellied spider monkeys and a scarlet macaw from a tourist bar in the city of Yurimaguas. Thanks to the professionalism of the authorities involved (The environmental public prosecutor, the regional government of Loreto and the police) the operation went very smoothly and now the animals are on their way to a rescue centre where they will recover and eventually be released back to the wild.

Biological Monitoring in Peru

Some pictures from our recent biological monitoring trip to the Jardines Angel del Sol Conservation Concession in San Martin, Peru. The seven and a half thousand hectare reserve is run by a group of local people from the villages of La Primavera, Libano and Santa Cruz. Thanks to a grant from the IUCN Netherlands and local NGO AMPA, the group has been able to buy more land to extend the reserve and to carry out these biological monitoring trips.

More photos soon!