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.

White-faced sakis are native to the rainforests throughout the northeast region of South America in northern Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela. They are usually found in the lower-to-mid canopy of the forest. These monkeys are generalists who can adapt to both wet and dry conditions in a variety of altitudes with relative ease.

  • Only males have signature white faces
  • Females are gray, brown, and red
  • Thought to be monogamous because of behavioral studies of small captive populations, wild populations have proven to not always be monogamous
  • Their remote habitats preclude effective field study. They live high in forest canopy.
  • Population numbers are unknown
They are considered to be widespread and abundant in their range

The main threat to white-faced sakis is hunting and habitat loss. They are sometimes found in the pet trade.

  1. White-faced sakis live high in the forest canopy. They have very specific environmental needs that cannot be replicated or met in human living conditions.
  2. To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
  3. When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
  4. Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild. 
  5. 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.
  6. Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
  7. White-faced sakis belong with other saki monkeys in their South American rainforests. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.

Visit the WHITE-FACED SAKI Primate Species Profile

 Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2019. You may freely use and share these learning activities for educational purposes. 
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected].