Lagothrix flavicauda 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Atelidae

Scientific Name: Lagothrix flavicauda (Humboldt, 1812)
Common Name(s):
English Peruvian Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey, Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey
French Singe Laineux À Queue Jaune
Spanish Barrigudo Andino, Choro Cola Amarilla, Maquisapa Chusco, Mono Choro de Cola Amarilla
Lagothrix hendeei (Cabrera 1958)
Lagothrix (Oreonax) hendeei (Thomas, 1927)
Oreonax flavicauda Groves 2001
Oreonax flavicauda (Humboldt, 1812)
Oreonax hendeei (Thomas, 1927b)
Simia flavicauda Humboldt, 1812
Taxonomic Notes: The most detailed taxonomic treatment for this species remains that of Fooden (1963) who placed it in the genus Lagothrix. However, as a result of his comparative studies of cranial morphology in the atelines, Groves (2001, 2005) and Paredes (2003) concluded that the Peruvian Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey should properly be considered a monotypic genus, Oreonax Thomas, 1927, quite separate from the woolly monkeys, Lagothrix.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Cornejo, F., Rylands, A.B., Mittermeier, R.A. & Heymann, E.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Since its rediscovery 33 years ago, there has been a significant reduction in the available habitat of this species under pressure from a combination of threats, with a resulting significant decline in the population of the species. Over the course of the next 15 years, it is estimated that the increasing rate of development and population growth from immigration in this area will, if continued, result in a total population decline of at least 80% over three generations (48 years). Resource exploitation, legal and illegal, poses an increasing threat to the remaining habitat of this species. With growing development, pressure on this species will likely increase from hunting for subsistence, sport, and pet trade.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey is endemic to the montane rain forests and cloud forests of the Departments of San Martín (eastern part) and Amazonas (western part) in the Peruvian Andes, south and east of the Río Marañón, at altitudes of 1,400 to 2,700 m above sea level. Shanee et al. (2007) reported that it may still also occur in small areas of Cajamarca, Huanuco, Loreto and La Libertad departments (Mittermeier 1975; Graves and O'Neil 1980; Leo Luna 1980, 1982, 1989; Parker and Barkley 1981), but according to DeLuycker and Heymann (2007) they are now restricted to irregular, scattered parts of only two Departments: Amazonas and San Martín.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no current estimates of remaining population numbers (DeLuycker and Heymann 2007). They have been recorded occurring in low densities, from 0.25 to 1 group per km² (Leo Luna 1987). This is not too dissimilar from the density of 1-2 groups/km² recorded in a small forest fragment, with groups ranging in size from 7-10 individuals (F. Cornejo pers. comm., 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Oreonax flavicauda is known to persist only in primary premontane, montane and cloud forest between 1,500 and 2,700 m above sea level (Leo Luna 1982; Butchart et al. 1995; DeLuycker 2007).

Sizes of multi-male/multi-female groups range from 5 to 18 individuals (Leo Luna 1989). Oreonax flavicauda eats a variety of fruits, flowers, leaves, lichens, leaf bases of bromeliads, epiphyte roots and bulbs, and possibly insects (Leo Luna 1982; DeLuycker 2007).

About 10 kg (Leo Luna 1984).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): As reported by Leo Luna (1987, 1989), the inaccessibility of its habitat protected the species until the 1950s. However, colonization projects, road-building (the carretera central through the cloud forests of the region and new construction throughout their distribution), selective logging, deforestation, forest fragmentation, and subsistence hunting, have contributed to a drastic change in their status (Leo Luna 1987, 1989; Aquino and Encarnación 1994; Butchart et al. 1995; DeLuycker 2007, DeLuycker and Heymann 2007; Shanee et al. 2007). Recently, mining companies have been granted concessions in areas where this species occurs and these growing mining operations (including open pit mining) represent an increasing threat to the habitat and habitat quality. The species appears to be highly sensitive to alterations in its habitat (Leo Luna 1987; DeLuycker 2007).

In 1981, it was estimated that its potential forested habitat was at least 11,240 km² (Leo Luna 1984). It was predicted that at least 1,600 km² would be deforested for agriculture by 1991 (Leo Luna 1984). Projecting this value for 15 additional years, and using a very conservative similar rate of deforestation, this leaves an estimated 7,240 km² of potential habitat area, undoubtedly optimistic (DeLuycker and Heymann 2007).

Clearing the forest for agriculture continues at an alarming rate, even in protected areas, such as the Protected Forest of Alto Mayo (BPAM). It has been estimated that between 2,300 and 2,500 ha of forest have been destroyed in BPAM (ParksWatch, Peru). The forest of the BPAM is now considerably fragmented, a result of lack of enforcement and a substantial population living in the Protected Forest itself. The BPAM also suffers from illegal selective logging (De Luycker 2007; DeLuycker and Heymann 2007).

The species is heavily hunted for subsistence by native communities. Illegal hunting still occurs, and if the monkeys are encountered, they are likely shot, because of their large size and trusting behaviour toward humans, and because they are believed to cause damage to crops. The species' velvety, thick, long fur, its skin and skull, and yellow genital hair-tuft are sought after as trophy items. Mothers are shot so that infants can be taken and sold in markets as pets (DeLuycker and Heymann 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas, including: Abiseo National Park (274,500 ha) (DeLuycker and Heymann 2007); Bosque de Protección Alto Mayo (182,000 ha) (DeLuycker 2007); and Reserved Zone Cordillera de Colán (64,100 ha) (established in 2002 with assistance from the Asociación Peruana para la Conservación de la Naturaleza - APECO). However, this last mentioned protected area is still awaiting a formal categorization of its status. There have been proposals for a number of other parks, including the National Sanctuaries of Cordillera de Colán and Este del Marañón (Rios and Ponce del Prado 1989).
This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Urgent conservation initiatives necessary for the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey's survival include: increased protection within designated parks, reserves, and protected forests, which currently lack enforcement; the establishment of a contiguous area of protected forest, to create a biological corridor; the establishment of a national park or reserve in the semi-isolated Valle de los Chilchos area; control of illegal logging; purchase of land; the provision of alternative economic models for local communities living along buffer zones, in order to prevent further migration into the primary cloud forests; and the implementation of a strong conservation education plan (DeLuycker and Heymann 2007).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Aquino, R. and Encarnación, F. 1994. Primates of Peru / Los Primates del Perú. Primate Report 40: 1-127.

Butchart, S. M., Barnes, R., Davies, C. W. N., Fernandez, M. and Seddon, N. 1995. Observations of two threatened primates in the Peruvian Andes. Primate Conservation 16: 15-19.

DeLuycker, A. M. 2007. Notes on the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda) and its status in the Protected Forest of Alto Mayo, northern Peru. Primate Conservation 22.

DeLuycker, A. M. and Heymann, E. W. 2007. The Peruvian yellow tailed woolly monkey, Oreonax flavicauda (Humboldt, 1812). Primate Conservation, pp. 1-40.

Eisenberg, J.F. and Redford, K.H. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics. The Central Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Fooden, J. 1963. A revision of the woolly monkeys (genus Lagothrix). Journal of Mammalogy 44(2): 213-247.

Graves, G. R. and O'Neill, J. P. 1980. Notes on the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) of Peru. Journal of Mammalogy 61: 345–347.

Groves C.P. 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Primates. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 111-184. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Leo Luna, M. 1980. First field study of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Oryx 15: 386–389.

Leo Luna, M. 1982. Estudio preliminar sobre la biología y ecológica del mono choro de cola amarilla Lagothrix flavicauda (Humboldt, 1812). Thesis, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina.

Leo Luna, M. 1984. The effect of hunting, selective logging, and clear-cutting on the conservation of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda). Thesis, University of Florida.

Leo Luna, M. 1987. Primate conservation in Peru: a case study of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Primate Conservation 8: 122-123.

Leo Luna, M. 1989. Biología y conservación del mono choro de cola amarilla (Lagothrix flavicauda), especie en peligro de extinción. In: C. J. Saavedra, R. A. Mittermeier and I. B. Santos (eds), La Primatologia en Latinoamérica, pp. 23-30. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, USA.

Mittermeier, R. A., de Macedo Ruiz, H. and Luscombe, A. 1975. A woolly monkey rediscovered in Peru. Oryx 13: 41–46.

Paredes Esquivel, Ú. M. 2003. Relaciones filogenéticas dentro del género Lagothrix "mono choro" (Primates: Atelidae). Tesis para optar el título profesional de Biólogo con Mención en Zoología. Lima, Perú Available at:

Parker, T. A. and Barkley, L. J. 1981. New locality for the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Oryx 16: 71–72.

ParksWatch, Peru. 2007. Alto Mayo Protected Forest. Available at:

Ríos, M. and Ponce del Prado, C. F. 1989. El status de las áreas de conservación propuestas para choro de cola amarilla (Lagothrix flavicauda): una investigación sobre la planificación regional de áreas naturales protegidas. In: C. J. Saavedra, R. A. Mittermeier and I. B. Santos (eds), La Primatologia en Latinoamérica, pp. 31-65. World Wildlife Fund-US, Washington, DC, USA.

Shanee, S., Shanee, N. and Maldonado, A. M. 2007. Distribution nand ocnservationstatus of the yelow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda Humboldt, 1812) in Amazonas and San Martín, Peru. Neotropical Primates 14(3): 115-119.

Citation: Cornejo, F., Rylands, A.B., Mittermeier, R.A. & Heymann, E. 2008. Lagothrix flavicauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39924A10287914. . Downloaded on 16 August 2018.
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