Conservation news

What is a Geoffroy’s spider monkey? Candid Animal Cam takes you to the trees this week

  • Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting the Central American Spider Monkey.

The Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), also known as the black-handed monkey, lives in the rainforests of Central America. Spider monkeys get their name from their spider-like appearance when they hang from trees by their tails. Their prehensile tail is so strong that it can be used as an extra arm. Geoffroy’s spider monkeys are social animals and live in groups of up to 40 individuals. However, to forage during the day, they split up into smaller groups that are led by a female. The Geoffroy spider monkey is listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN, mostly due to habitat loss, hunting and capture for the pet trade. Watch the video to learn more about the monkey!

Special thanks to Osa Conservation for sharing their footage with us. The videos were obtained during an arboreal study investigating the use and importance of spider monkeys sleeping in trees and latrines for ecological interactions and forest regeneration. You can read the published paper here.


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Romi Castagnino is Mongabay’s bilingual writer. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @romi_Castagnino