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New monkeys, same old monkeying-around with forests.

By JW Dowey - 05 Mar 2015 10:31:1 GMT
New monkeys, same old monkeying-around with forests.

Their habit of curling their tails around each other makes these titis very endearing, with their attractive fur and beautiful colours.Milton’s titi image; Credit: © Adriano Gambarini

Felipe Ennes Silva collected all the necessary data for the description of Callicebus miltoni, the new Brazilian species to be known as Milton's titi which we are celebrating in this story. His expert opinion on the habitat is that, Iit will take more than luck if we are to keep making scientific finds like this. The rainforest is under threat like never before, and it will take dedicated, hard work – not just by conservationists but by the government and every other sector of society too – to make sure that this forest ecosystem can continue to support a wide diversity of life and help regulate our planet’s climate.

He is still excited about the new discovery, encouraged by support from 3 NGOs (including Fauna and Flora International) and detailed in Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia.This monkey has been observed at treetop level since 2011, but never properly identified..The press release online (within News here) tells the whole story.

Across the whole of the continent, Callicebus live in small arboreal monogamous groups. The new distinctive species lives near the Amazon’s Roosevelt River, with showy flaming orange tails and sideburns and a light grey stripe on the forehead. The naming also appropriately honours one of Brazil’s most noted scientists, who trained many present-day primatologists, Dr Milton Thiago de Mello.

Living high in the reduced lowland rainforest, feeding on fruit, the animals are identified both by their vivid colour and their morning calls in the rainy season. The restrictive habitat, following extensive deforestation, is even more enclosing for this species, as they don’t swim or travel across mountain regions. Their last habitat is a few small hills, surrounded by rivers, only protected for about 25% of this area. Forest fires are yet another obvious threat, but new roads as always destroy habitat and new dams could be even more conclusive on the fate of this monkey.

Changing the area to the Andes, other titi monkeys such as Callicebus olallae are among many endangered species of bird and amphibian, as related here.