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Critically Endangered Monkey Finding Refuge in Las Tangaras

May 16, 2014

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As some of you may remember, towards the start of our Las Tangaras adventure I broached the subject of the White Fronted Capuchins (Cebus albifrons) that have been regularly seen on the reserve as potentially being the Critically Endangered sub-species Cebus albifrons aequatorialis. The Ecuadorian capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis) is a critically endangered primate found only in the fragmented forests of western Ecuador and northern Peru, which are among the world’s most severely threatened ecosystems.

After finally encountering the monkeys while I had my camera and conducting a little research into the topic I am now certain that the species that calls Reserva Las Tangaras home is The Ecuadorian capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis). This, once more, proves the value of the reserve as an important conservation area. The fact that these animals are regularly seen in the vacinity of the Andean Cock of the Rock Lek also raises a few questions that future research on the reserve may potentially answer. I only wish I had the time here to do it myself. I have developed a bit of a passion for primates after a year and a bit in South and Central America and may potentially follow this up academicaly.

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Ultimately there is only one main point from which I need to draw my conclusion, comparative distribution. The primary cause of the speciation  of the Ecuadorian White Fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis) is that the Andes Mountains have become a natural barrier and seperated Cebus albifrons from the Cebus albifrons aequatorialis with the former residing in the Amazonian forests to the East while the latter has developed in isolation between the Andes and the coast to the West. As Mindo is on the Western slopes of the Andes it is fair to say that these monkeys must be the Cebus albifrons aequatorialis.

For more information on this sub species please read:

 http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v5/TCS-2012_jun_173-191_Jack_and_Campos.pdf. 

 

 

 

 

 

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