At least seven monkey species are native to Central America. An eighth species, the Coiba Island howler (Alouatta coibensis) is often recognized, but some authorities treat it as a subspecies of the mantled howler, (A. palliata).A ninth species, the black-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps)is also often recognized, but some authorities regard it as a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey (A. geoffroyi). In addition, two species of white-faced capuchin monkey have been generally recognized since the 2010s although some primatologists consider these to be a single species. Taxonomically, all Central American monkey species are classified as New World monkeys, and they belong to four families. Five species belong to the family Atelidae, which includes the howler monkeys, spider monkeys, woolly monkeys and muriquis. Three species belong to the family Cebidae, the family that includes the capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys. One species each belongs to the night monkey family, Aotidae, and the tamarin and marmoset family, Callitrichidae.
Monkey is a common name that may refer to groups or species of mammals, in part, the simians of infraorder Simiiformes. The term is applied descriptively to groups of primates, such as families of new world monkeys and old world monkeys. Many monkey species are tree-dwelling (arboreal), although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are also active during the day (diurnal). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent, especially the old world monkeys of Catarrhini.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
The Coiba Island howler is a species of howler monkey, a type of New World monkey, endemic to Panama. Although the Coiba Island howler is generally recognized as a separate species, mitochondrial DNA testing is inconclusive as to whether it is actually a subspecies of the mantled howler. The reason for treating it as a separate species is the dermal ridges of its hands and feet differ from those of the mantled howler.
Geoffroy's spider monkey is the only monkey found in all seven Central American countries, and it is also found in Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.Other species that have a widespread distribution throughout Central America are the mantled howler, which is found in five Central American countries, and the Panamanian white-faced capuchin (Cebus imitator), which is found in four Central American countries. The Coiba Island howler, the black-headed spider monkey, the Panamanian night monkey (Aotus zonalis), the Colombian white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) and Geoffroy's tamarin (Saguinus geoffroyi) are each found in only one Central American country, Panama. The Central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii) also has a restricted distribution, living only on part of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a small portion of Panama. El Salvador is the Central American country with the fewest monkey species, as only Geoffroy's spider monkey lives there. Panama has the most species, nine, as the only Central American monkey species that does not include Panama within its range is the Guatemalan black howler (Alouatta pigra).
Geoffroy's spider monkey, also known as the black-handed spider monkey, is a species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America, parts of Mexico and possibly a small portion of Colombia. There are at least five subspecies. Some primatologists classify the black-headed spider monkey, found in Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador as the same species as Geoffroy's spider monkey.
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogotá.
Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, which is also the largest city.
Geoffroy's tamarin is the smallest Central American monkey, with an average size of about 0.5 kilograms (1.1 lb). The Central American squirrel monkey and Panamanian night monkey are almost as small, with average sizes of less than 1.0 kilogram (2.2 lb). The Guatemalan black howler has the largest males, which average over 11 kilograms (24 lb). The spider monkey species have the next largest males, which average over 8 kilograms (18 lb).
One Central American monkey, the black-headed spider monkey, is considered to be Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).Geoffroy's spider monkey and the Guatemalan black howler are both considered to be Endangered. The Central American squirrel monkey had been considered endangered, but its conservation status was upgraded to Vulnerable in 2008. The Coiba Island howler is also considered to be vulnerable. The white-faced capuchins, the mantled howler and Geoffroy's tamarin are all considered to be of Least Concern from a conservation standpoint.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".
An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct. Endangered (EN), as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR).
A vulnerable species is one which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.
Monkey watching is a popular tourist activity in parts of Central America.In Costa Rica, popular areas to view monkeys include Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Santa Rosa National Park Guanacaste National Park and Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve. Corcovado National Park is the only park in Costa Rica in which all the country's four monkey species can be seen. The more accessible Manuel Antonio National Park is the only other park in Costa Rica in which the Central American squirrel monkey is found, and the Panamanian white-faced capuchin and mantled howler are also commonly seen there. Within Panama, areas to view monkeys include Darién National Park, Soberanía National Park and a number of islands on Gatun Lake including Barro Colorado Island. In addition, Geoffroy's tamarin can be seen in Metropolitan Natural Park within Panama City. In Belize, the easily explored Community Baboon Sanctuary was established specifically for the preservation of the Guatemalan black howler and now contains more than 1000 monkeys.
Corcovado National Park is a National Park on the Osa Peninsula in Osa Canton, southwestern Costa Rica, which is part of the Osa Conservation Area. It was established on 24 October 1975, and encompasses an area of 424 square kilometres (164 sq mi). It is the largest park in Costa Rica and protects about a third of the Osa Peninsula. It is widely considered the crown jewel in the extensive system of national parks and biological reserves spread across the country. The ecological variety is quite stunning. National Geographic has called it "the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity". Not only is the park very popular with tropical ecologists, a visitor can expect to see an abundance of wildlife. One should come well prepared though.
Manuel Antonio National Park, in Spanish the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, is a small National Park in the Central Pacific Conservation Area located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, just south of the city of Quepos, Puntarenas, and 132 km (82 mi) from the national capital of San José. Established in 1972 with a land area enumerating 1 983 ha, it is the destination of as many as 150,000 visitors annually and well known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails. In 2011, Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks.
Santa Rosa National Park, in Spanish the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, is a national park, in Guanacaste Province, northwestern Costa Rica. It was the first national park established in Costa Rica, created in 1971.
|Latin Name||Latin binomial name, or scientific name, of the species|
|Common Name||Common name of the species, per Wilson, et al.Mammal Species of the World (2005)|
|Family||Family within New World monkeys to which the species belongs|
|Average Size - Male||Average size of adult male members of the species, in kilograms and pounds|
|Average Size - Female||Average size of adult female members of the species, in kilograms and pounds|
|Conservation Status||Conservation status of the species, per IUCN as of 2010|
|Range||Countries in which the species occurs; countries outside Central America shown in italics|
|Latin Name||Common Name||Family||Average Size - Male||Average Size - Female||Conservation Status||Range||References|
|Alouatta coibensis [a]||Coiba Island howler||Atelidae||7.150 kg (15.76 lb)||5.350 kg (11.79 lb)||Panama|
|Alouatta palliata||Mantled howler||Atelidae||7.150 kg (15.76 lb)||5.350 kg (11.79 lb)||Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia , Ecuador , Mexico|
|Alouatta pigra||Guatemalan black howler||Atelidae||11.352 kg (25.03 lb)||6.434 kg (14.18 lb)||Belize, Guatemala, Mexico|
|Aotus zonalis [b]||Panamanian night monkey||Aotidae||0.889 kg (1.96 lb)||0.916 kg (2.02 lb)||Panama, Colombia|
|Ateles fusciceps [c]||Black-headed spider monkey||Atelidae||8.890 kg (19.60 lb)||8.800 kg (19.40 lb)||Panama, Colombia , Ecuador|
|Ateles geoffroyi||Geoffroy's spider monkey||Atelidae||8.210 kg (18.10 lb)||7.700 kg (16.98 lb)||Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia , Mexico|
|Cebus capucinus [d]||Colombian white-faced capuchin||Cebidae||3.668 kg (8.09 lb)||2.666 kg (5.88 lb)||Panama, Colombia , Ecuador|
|Cebus imitator||Panamanian white-faced capuchin||Cebidae||3.668 kg (8.09 lb)||2.666 kg (5.88 lb)||Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama|
|Saguinus geoffroyi||Geoffroy's tamarin||Callitrichidae||0.486 kg (1.07 lb)||0.507 kg (1.12 lb)||Panama, Colombia|
|Saimiri oerstedii||Central American squirrel monkey||Cebidae||0.829 kg (1.83 lb)||0.695 kg (1.53 lb)||Costa Rica, Panama|
The Atelidae are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. It was formerly included in the family Cebidae. Atelids are generally larger monkeys; the family includes the howler, spider, woolly, and woolly spider monkeys. They are found throughout the forested regions of Central and South America, from Mexico to northern Argentina.
The Guatemalan black howler, or Yucatan black howler, is a species of howler monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America. It is found in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, in and near the Yucatan Peninsula. It lives in evergreen, semideciduous and lowland rain forests. It is also known as the baboon in Belize, although it is not closely related to the baboons in Africa.
The black-headed spider monkey is a species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central and South America. It is found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. Although primatologists such as Colin Groves (1989) follow Kellogg and Goldman (1944) in treating A. fusciceps as a separate species, other authors, including Froelich (1991), Collins and Dubach (2001) and Nieves (2005) treat it as a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey.
The Azuero howler a type of monkey that is a subspecies of the Coiba Island howler A. coibensis. This subspecies is endemic to the Azuero Peninsula in Panama. The Azuero howler is distinguished primarily by its golden flanks and loins, and browner appearance on the rest of its body.
The Ecuadorian mantled howler is a subspecies of the mantled howler, A. palliata. It ranges from Panama through Colombia and Ecuador into northern Peru. The range limits between the Ecuadorian mantled howler and the golden-mantled howler are not entirely clear. The Ecuadorian mantled howler replaces the Golden-mantled howler in either extreme eastern Costa Rica or western Panama. The Ecuadorian mantled howler differs from the golden-mantled howler primarily by being paler, with a more yellowish mantle.
The golden-mantled howler is a subspecies of the mantled howler, A. palliata. It ranges throughout much of Central America, in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and possibly Panama. The range limits between the golden-mantled howler and the Ecuadorian mantled howler are not entirely clear. The Ecuadorian mantled howler replaces the golden-mantled howler in either extreme eastern Costa Rica or western Panama.
The Mexican howler is a subspecies of the mantled howler, A. palliata. This subspecies is found predominantly in forests between south eastern Mexico and north eastern Peru. Typical of its species, the Mexican howler monkey has a prehensile tail, a deep jaw, and a large pharynx which it uses to make characteristically deep and resonating howls.
The ornate spider monkey, is a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America, native to Costa Rica and Panama. Other common names for this subspecies include the brilliant spider monkey, the common spider monkey, the red spider monkey, the Panama spider ape, and the Azuero spider monkey, the latter two of which were previously thought to be distinct subspecies panamensis and azuerensis, respectively.
The brown-headed spider monkey, is a critically endangered subspecies of the black-headed spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, found in northwestern Ecuador.
The hooded spider monkey, is a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America, native to Panama. It also might be found in a small portion of Colombia adjacent to Panama. In western Colombia and northeast Panama it is replaced by the Black-headed spider monkey, A. fusciceps. In western Panama, it is replaced by another subspecies of Geoffroy's Spider Monkey, the Ornate spider monkey, A. g. ornatus. The Hooded spider monkey has long, tawny fur.
The Nicaraguan spider monkey, is a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America. It is native to Nicaragua and parts of Costa Rica closest to Nicaragua plus the Guanacaste peninsula. The population in Guanacaste and much of Nicaragua is sometimes considered to be a separate subspecies, A. g. frontatus. But other authorities consider A. g. frontatus to be a synonym of A. g. geoffroyi.
The Mexican spider monkey, is a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Mexico and Central America, native to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It is described as being critically endangered by the IUCN, due to an 80% population decline in the last 45 years, mostly due to a large amount of habitat loss.
The Yucatan spider monkey is a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, and is one of the largest types of New World monkey. It inhabits Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. It is a social animal, living in groups of 20-42 members.
The Colombian spider monkey, is a subspecies of the Black-headed spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, found in Colombia and Panama. Some authorities, such as Froelich (1991), Collins and Dubach (2001) and Nieves (2005), do not recognize the Black-headed spider monkey as a distinct species and so treat the Colombian spider monkey as a subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey.
The Azuero spider monkey is a possible subspecies of spider monkey that is in critical danger of extinction according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Common names of this subspecies include mono charro, mono charao and mono araña. The Azuero subspecies is one of three types of spider monkeys in Panama; Ateles geoffroyi panamensis with a range spanning from Costa Rica to Darién excluding the Azuero, Ateles geoffroyi fusciceps, with a range spanning Panamá and Colón provinces, and Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis, the Azuero spider monkey, whose range encompasses only the Azuero Peninsula.