The South American Woolly Monkey is an adorable primate that belongs to the Atelidae family (a family of 5 different kinds of New World monkeys). Located in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and of course Peru, there isn’t just one type of woolly monkey, but four.
The rare Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey is one of four species, and is unique to Peruvian Andes in the department of San Martin. Unfortunately, this species is critically endangered, categorized as such by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This species has a slow reproductive rate which doesn’t help their survival. Another reason for its status is the loss of its natural habitat.
The Gray Woolly Monkey is mostly found in Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. Its characteristics are dark gray in color with dark skin and thick coats. These monkeys can be found living in cloud forests with a diet that consists of fruit and, when fruit is limited, leaves. Female Gray Woolly monkey’s are often hunted and their young sold as pets, but the monkeys are also hunted for food. Thankfully, they are now being protected in most national parks.
Brown Woolly Monkey is also referred to as the common Woolly Monkey. As mentioned above, they have characteristics such as round heads and medium-sized bodies.
The last Woolly we will be talking about is the Colombian Woolly Monkey. This species has been around for about 500 years, yet is critically endangered. With the same build and social behaviors as other woollies, the Colombian variety likes to stay in large groups known as troops.
All of the aforementioned Woolly Monkeys have a life span of about 24-30 years. Female monkeys also have a pregnancy duration of 7 to 7 1/2 months.
Cover photo: Andina
This article by Natasha Clay has been updated from its original publication on April 29, 2016.
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