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Peruvian Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey

South America

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Lagothrix flavicauda

Endangered

The main threat for species survival is massive deforestation to make way for logging, cattle ranching, agricultural lands, and road construction. Population growth is also a challenge due to overhunting for illegal pet trade.

The Peruvian Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey is one of the largest mammals that can be found nowhere except in Peru and is also among the rarest Neo-tropical primates in the world. Long interval births and low reproductive rates, along with other reasons, make population growth a challenge.

This New World monkey species belongs to the Oreonax genus although it was previously categorised to the Lagothrix genus along other woolly monkeys. Until now, there is an ongoing debate about this issue.  It has a body colour ranging from mahogany and copper to yellow and black. Unlike other woolly monkeys, its fur is longer and denser to be able to survive extreme temperatures in highly-elevated forest habitat. Adults can weigh between 8 and 12 kg, with males being slightly larger than females.

As a very social animal, it lives with others in groups of up to 20 to 25 individuals. Aggressive behaviours are common during interactions such as short barking calls, backside exposure (or mooning), branch shaking, and scrotal tufting.