Species: Caquetá titi monkey (Callicebus caquetensis)
Status: Critically Endangered (CR)
Interesting Fact: Only discovered in 2008, the Caquetá titi monkey is an extremely rare species found only in the Department of Caquetá, Colombia and has a population of no more than 250 individuals.
The Caquetá titi monkey has dense, soft, reddish- and greyish-brown fur. Titi monkeys move through the canopy by, skilfully climbing through the branches on all four limbs using the tail as a balancing aid, and they can use their powerful rear limbs to jump spectacular distances.
Almost nothing is known about the biology of the Caquetá titi monkey, although it has been observed living in small family groups that appear to defend their territory against other titis. The Caquetá titi monkey is thought to have a range of no more than 100 square kilometres, of which it probably occupies only a tiny fraction. Titi monkeys feed on fruits, as well as leaves, insects, birds eggs and small invertebrates. Titi monkeys are monogamous and partners reinforce the pair bond by grooming and by perching side-by-side with their tails entwined. A single infant is born at a time, and will remain within the family group until it reaches maturity and leaves to find its own mate, usually in its second year.
With a population of probably no more than 250 individuals, extinction could be imminent for the Caquetá titi monkey. Its preferred habitat of dense, low forests of small, thin, broadleaved trees and bushes, is highly fragmented by agricultural land. Areas of grassland intersected by barbed wire fences limits the natural movement of the monkey’s, and makes them vulnerable to predation and hunting. None of the species known range occurs within protected areas, which means that the remaining habitat is likely to dwindle further unless conservation measures are implemented quickly.
Habitat loss is the most important threat facing many of Colombia’s endemic primates, including the Caquetá titi monkey. Even in protected areas, law enforcement is often inadequate, and deforestation is increasing.
See images of the Caquetá titi monkey on ARKive.
Phoebe Shaw Stewart, ARKive Text Author