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Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey
Mammals of Peru
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The Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey', Oreonax flavicauda, is a New World monkey endemic to Peru. It is a rare primate species found only in the Peruvian Andes. It has formerly been estimated that fewer than 250 individuals are left in the wild, but there are no current estimates of its population size. It is currently classified in the monotypic genus Oreonaxwithin the Atelidae family, but in the past has been classified as a member of the genus Lagothrix'' with the rest of the woolly monkeys.
The hair of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey is long and thick, an adaptation to its cold montane forest habitat. Its color is deep mahogany, with yellow on the underside of the rear surface of the tail and a whitish patch on the muzzle. The average weight is 5.7 kg (12.5 lb) for females and 8.3 kg (18.3 lb) for males. The yellow-tailed woolly monkey lives in the montane cloud forests of the Peruvian Andes at elevations of 1700 - 2500 m (5600' - 8200'), where there are steep gorges and ravines. Its diet is primarily frugivorous, but leaves, flowers, and buds are also eaten. The yellow-tailed woolly monkey is arboreal and diurnal. It has a multi-male group social system and a polygamous mating system. Apparently the competition among group members is at a low level.
Reasons for critically endangered status
The inaccessibility of its habitat protected the species until the 1950's. However, the construction of new roads; habitat loss and fragmentation from agriculture, logging and cattle ranching; and subsistence hunting; together with the monkey's naturally low population densities, slow maturation, low reproductive rate, and a restricted geographic distribution have led to this species' current critically endangered status.
The monkey is part of a larger family of woolly monkeys, who are known for their long, thick fur that protects them from the cold. The yellow-tailed woolly monkeys fur is deep reddish brown, with a yellow tint running on the underside of the tail;
It eats fruit (particularly ficus fruit), as well as leaves, flowers and buds, and lives in the tree canopy;
It has a prehensile tail, which it uses as a fifth arm, and can leap distances up to 15 meters;
Yellow-tailed woollies live in polygamous, male-dominated societies, and they communicate by high, puppy-like barks.
Primate Info Net Oreonax Factsheets
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey