Manu’s woolly monkeys
December 21, 2013
Sadly, the gray woolly monkey pictured is endangered.
ACA is tracking these monkeys in the cloud forests in and around Manu National Park in southern Peru. Groups are moving higher into the mountains to escape the overhunting and habitat loss they face at lower elevations. As fruit eaters, these monkeys play a little-known, but important, role in the seed dispersal of canopy-level tree species—significant as trees need to migrate upslope in response to climate change.
While ACA studies these monkeys (species: Lagothrix cana), we are also taking important action to ensure that their habitat is protected. For the past two years, ACA has been assisting a group of young conservationists from Alto Pilcomayo—children of loggers who moved near Manu’s Andean slope decades ago—to create a new 12,040-acre conservation concession.
Led by Mario Ocsa (pictured), the young conservationists plan to call this new reserve “Qosilloq llaqta qcahuanan”—“land of the gray woolly monkeys” in Quechua. ACA is already training the community to patrol the concession, prevent access by hunters, and closely monitor the woolly monkey populations living there. In 2014, we plan to complete the process of officially establishing Alto Pilcomayo’s concession, one of eight new protected areas we are working on in the greater Manu landscape.