Special Report Endangered Species
New monkey species is already endangered
- 22 January 2008
- From New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues
If this monkey looks bewildered, it could be because of the excitement it has generated among biologists. A uacari monkey living in north-western Amazonia, it belongs to a species unknown to science until recently but is now named Cacajao ayresii in honour of Brazilian biologist Marcio Ayres, who pioneered field studies on uacaris.
Uacaris are traditionally associated with flooded forests on the margins of lowland rivers, but this one turned up in a mountainous area of the Pico de Neblina region on the Brazil-Venezuela border, a long way from its relatives. The new species has a very restricted distribution, says Jean-Philippe Boubli of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, who describes it in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Primatology. Since it lives outside any protected area and is hunted by local people, Boubli says it should immediately be considered endangered.
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