New uakari monkey discovered in the Amazon rainforest
February 5, 2008
A previously unknown species of uakari monkey was discovered in the Brazilian Amazon, reports National Geographic News. The primate was identified after it was killed by Yanomamo Indians near the Brazil-Venezuela border.
“They told us about this black uakari monkey, which was slightly different to the one we knew from Pico de Neblina National Park, where I’d worked earlier,” Jean-Phillipe Boubli, the University of Auckland researcher who described the monkey, told National Geographic News. “I searched for that monkey for at least five years. The reason I couldn’t find it was because the place where they were was sort of unexpected.”
Uakari monkeys are generally found in igapó and várzea (flooded river) forests, but the new species is found in a mountainous region.
The monkey is named Cacajao ayresii after José Márcio Ayres, a Brazilian biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society who died in 2003.
Boubli says that because the new species is found in an unprotected area conservationists will lobby for the creation of a new park.
“The population is quite small, so they are quite vulnerable. I’m a bit concerned,” he was quoted as saying.
The formal description of the species has been submitted to the International Journal of Primatology.