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Alouatta nigerrima

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PRIMATES ATELIDAE

Scientific Name: Alouatta nigerrima
Species Authority: Lönnberg, 1941
Common Name(s):
English Black Howler Monkey
Taxonomic Notes: Cruz Lima (1945) listed the form nigerrima Lönnberg 1941 as a full species. Cytogenetic studies also indicated that A. b. nigerrima is sufficiently distinct to warrant species status (Armada et al. 1987; see also Lima and Seuánez 1989), and that it is more closely related to seniculus than to belzebul (see Oliveira 1996). Groves (2001, 2005) and Gregorin (2006) list it as distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Boubli, J.-P., Di Fiore, A., Rylands, A.B. & Mittermeier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern given its relatively large distribution and lack of any major threats resulting in a significant range-wide decline that would warrant listing the species in Near Threatenedor a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Alouatta nigerrima occurs south of the Rio Amazonas in Brazil, west from the rios Tapajós and Juruena, to the Rios Madeira and Aripuanã, to about 9ºS. There are outlying populations north of the Rio Amazonas in the region of Oriximiná and Óbidos on the lower Rio Trombetas (Napier, 1976) and just south of the Rio Amazonas-Solimões, midway between the rios Maderia and Purus, at the Lago Janauacá (A. Rylands, pers. obs.; Langguth et al. 1987; Bonvincino et al. 1989; Gregorin 2006).
Countries:
Native:
Brazil (Amazonas, Pará)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information available on population densities.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Alouatta nigerrima is found in tall evergreen terra firme forest, seasonally inundated forest and forest patches in savanna areas, as well as secondary forest in abandoned rubber plantations.

The howler monkeys are the large leaf-eaters of the South American primate communities. The molar teeth are particularly adapted for their chewing leaves through shearing. They spend up to 70% of their day lying and sitting about quietly among the branches, fermenting leaves in their enlarged caecums. Like the spider monkeys, they are prehensile-tailed, with a naked patch of skin on the under surface at the tip. Their most characteristic feature is the deep jaws which surround the enlarged larynx and hyoid apparatus, a resonating chamber. It is with this enlarged and highly specialized voice box that they produce their howls (grunts, roars and barks). Howling sessions, usually involving the entire group, can be heard particularly in the early morning and are audible at distances of 1-2 kms (Drubbel and Gautier 1993).

Black howler groups number four or five or up to 11 or so individuals. There is usually only one dominant male in the group (occasionally two), others being sub-adults, or juveniles, along with a harem of two to five females. Unlike the spider monkeys, and related to the large proportion of leaves in the diet (up to 50% of the annual diet), the howler monkeys generally have quite small and broadly overlapping home ranges, of 5 ha up to 45 ha, depending on the type of habitat (Neville et al. 1988).

Howlers are the only New World primates which regularly include mature leaves in their diet, although softer, less fibrous, young leaves are preferred when they are available. Their folivory and ability to eat mature leaves is undoubtedly one of the keys to their wide distribution and the wide variety of vegetation types they inhabit. Mature fruit is the other important food item, especially wild figs (Ficus) in many regions, but they also eat leaf petioles, buds, flowers (sometimes seasonally very important), seeds, moss, stems and twigs, and termitaria.

Oestrus lasts 2-4 days, with intervals between oestrous periods of about 17 days. Interbirth intervals are generally about 16.6 months, although they may be shortened by the death of an infant to about 10.5 months (Crockett and Sekulic 1984).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting and habitat loss are localized threats, but human population density is relatively low, and neither is likely to be driving significant range-wide declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in Amazonia National Park (1,114,917 ha) (Ayres and Milton 1981), while both Jatuarana National Forest (837,100 ha) and Pau Rosa National Forest (827,877 ha) are in range. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Citation: Boubli, J.-P., Di Fiore, A., Rylands, A.B. & Mittermeier, R.A. 2008. Alouatta nigerrima. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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