BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE MOST ENDANGERED PRIMATE SPECIES
#5 CAQUETÁ TITI
Also known as the RED-BEARDED TITI or BUSHY-BEARDED TITI
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.
The Caquetá titi lives deep in the hot and humid rainforests of the Caquetá region of Colombia, close to the border of Ecuador and Peru. The species’ range encompasses an area of about 39 mi² (100 km²) and includes dense, low forests of small, thin, broadleaved trees and bushes surrounded by swampy pastureland.
- The Caquetá titi was discovered in 2008 deep in the hot, humid rainforest of the Caquetá region of Colombia
- It is a small sturdy monkey that purrs like a cat
- Population: about 250 individuals—on the verge of extinction!
- One of the world’s 25 most endangered primate species
Healthy population should be in the thousands, but they are in the low hundreds. Habitat destruction—land cleared for agricultural use, including illicit crop growth (for drug cultivation) and widespread ranching—is to blame for the low number of Caquetá titi monkeys. Pollution and environmental poisoning through herbicides and pesticides are additional risk factors. The monkeys are also hunted for food. Because their natural habitat is fragmented, Caquetá titi monkeys are forced to live as isolated groups, confined to certain areas by barbed wire and a barren savanna that has been grazed by cattle. If this severe habitat degradation continues the Caquetá titi monkey population is anticipated to continue to plummet and this tiny bearded primate, who purrs like a cat and who some say looks like a leprechaun, may eventually be forever lost from the world.
- Despite their small size, Caquetá titi monkeys are wild animals. Their dietary and environmental needs cannot be adequately met or replicated 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.
- Trade in Critically Endangered species is illegal.
- 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.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Caquetá titis belong with other titi monkeys in Colombia’s rainforests. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.