BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE WEIRDEST PRIMATE SPECIES
#3 BALD UAKARI
Also called the BALD-HEADED UAKARI, BALD UACARI, RED UAKARI,
RED-AND-WHITE UAKARI, and WHITE UAKARI
Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.
Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.
Bald uakaris are native to the Western Amazon—residing in the countries of Peru and Brazil, and possibly Colombia. Their rainforest habitat is in the Amazon River Basin, which often floods. Specifically, the bald uakari lives near “white water floods.” Flooding occurs most often in the rainy season. To avoid the high water, these comely monkeys live in the trees alongside small tributaries or lakes.
- Mostly arboreal (they live in trees), bald uakaris live in the forest canopy over seasonal floodplains
- The bald uakari’s striking crimson-color face is caused by blood-flow beneath the skin, specifically a thinner epidermis coupled with a higher concentration of capillaries in the face
- A redder face indicates a healthier monkey, since their faces, like ours, grow pale when they’re ill—particularly with malaria, which is rampant in their habitat
- Troops are quite large—sometimes up to 100 monkeys, but more often around 30
Habitat loss through deforestation is perhaps the chief bane of these monkeys’ existence. Without trees to live in, they cannot live. Small-scale agriculture and the timber industry are the main threats to the bald uakari.
The monkey is possibly extinct from part of its native range in Colombia. Since their reproductive habits lead to slow population growth, population stability is a struggle in the fact of deforestation.
In addition, they are hunted for bushmeat and, in some areas, they are used as bait to hunt other species.
- Bald uakaris have very specific dietary and environmental needs. Those needs cannot possibly be met in human living conditions.
- To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
- Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
- In their natural habitat, bald uakaris live in large social groups. It is cruel to isolate them as pets.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Bald uakaris belong with other uakaris in their South American rainforests. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.