Callicebus melanochir


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Callicebus melanochir
Species Authority: Wied-Neuwied, 1820
Common Name(s):
English Coastal Black-handed Titi, Southern Bahian Masked Titi
Callicebus personatus subspecies melanochir Wied-Neuwied, 1820
Taxonomic Notes: Kobayashi and Langguth (1999) and van Roosmalen et al. (2002) recognize five species groups – cupreus, donacophilus, moloch, personatus and torquatus. Callicebus melanochir belongs to the personatus group, which includes the following species: Callicebus barbarabrownae, Callicebus coimbrai, Callicebus melanochir, Callicebus nigrifrons and Callicebus personatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Veiga, L.M., Printes, R.C., Ferrari, S.F., Kierulff, C.M., de Oliveira, M.M. & Mendes, S.L.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Vulnerable as a result of a continuing decline exceeding 30% over the past 24 years (3 generations) inferred from conversion of forest habitat to cacao following the economic crisis of the 1980s (and continuing today). The remaining populations are all severely fragmented.
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: According to Hershkovitz (1990), Callicebus melanochir is found in Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil between the right margin of the rio Paraguaçu in the state of Bahia and the left bank of the rio Mucur in northern Espírito Santo. Van Roosmalen et al. (2002) claimed that the species may overlap with C. personatus in the Itaúnas and Mucuri river valleys, in the north of Espírito Santo. Cerrado (savanna) acts as a barrier to the distribution of titis today and it is likely that C. melanochir ranges no further west into Minas Gerais than Montes Claros (Printes 2005). To the north, C. melanochir extends as far as the Rio Paraguaçu, where it meets the ranges of C. coimbrai and C. barbarabrownae (Hershkovitz 1990; Oliver and Santos 1991; Flesher 1999; Sousa in prep). It may formerly have occurred in the Pardo-Jequitinhonha interfluvium, but the forests of this region have now been replaced by cattle pasture and recent surveys found no Callicebus there (Printes et al. in press). This species may reach as far south as the Rio Doce (300 km to the south), while to the west it is replaced by C. personatus (Printes in press).
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on the population status of this species. The populations are highly fragmented.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inhabitant of Brazil's Atlantic forest, where it occurs also in areas of degraded habitat. There are very few studies on the ecology and behaviour of members of the personatus group. However, Callicebus melanochir has been the subject of a few studies in Bahia. They live in small family groups, with a home range of 22–24 ha (Müller 1996; Heiduck 2002) and a mean day range of approximately 1 km (Müller 1996). The diet comprises mainly fleshy fruit parts, seeds and young leaves (Heiduck 1997). A group in Serra do Teimoso Reserve, Jussari, was highly frugivorous, with 90% of their diet composed of fruit, complemented by leaves, flowers and other items (Cardoso and Santos 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species inhabits the most developed and populous region of Brazil, in a region that has suffered from extensive habitat loss and fragmentation and where there is now very little remaining forest cover (estimated from between 5 to 10%). The reduction of available habitat for the eastern Brazilian titis is ongoing, mainly due to pressures for cattle ranching and agriculture. Hunting pressure is probably negligible to moderate in most cases, given their small body size.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas, including the Pau Brasil National Park, south of the Jequitinhonha. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Bibliography [top]

Cardoso, N. A. and Santos, B. S. 2005. Use of food resources by Callicebus melanochir (Primates: Pitheciidae) in an Atlantic forest fragment in the Serra do Teimoso Natural Reserve, Jussari – BA. Programa e Livro de Resumos XI Congresso Brasileiro de Primatologia.

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

Flesher, K. 1999. Primates of the Ituberá forest complex, Bahia, Brazil. Neotropical Primates 41: 151-153.

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

Heiduck, S. 1997. Food choice in masked titi monkeys (Callicebus personatus melanochir): selectivity of opportunism? International Journal of Primatology 18: 487-502.

Heiduck, S. 2002. The use of disturbed and undisturbed forest by masked titi monkeys Callicebus personatus melanochir is proportional to food availability. Oryx 36: 133-139.

Hershkovitz, P. 1988. Origin, speciation, and distribution of South American titi monkeys, genus Callicebus (Family Cebidae, Platyrrhini). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 140(1): 240-272.

Hershkovitz, P. 1990. Titis, New World monkeys of the genus Callicebus (Cebidae, Platyrrhini): a preliminary taxonomic review. Fieldiana: Zoology 55: 1-109.

Kobayashi, S. 1995. A phylogenetic study of titi monkeys, genus Callicebus, based on cranial measurements: I. Phyletic groups of Callicebus. Primates 36(1): 101-120.

Kobayashi, S and Langguth, A. 1999. A new species of titi monkeys, Callicebus Thomas, from north-eastern Brazil (Primates, Cebidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 16(2): 531-551.

Müller, K. H. 1996. Diet and feeding ecology of masked titis (Callicebus personatus). In: M. A. Norconk, A. L. Rosenberger and P. A. Garber (eds), Adaptive Radiations of Neotropical Primates, pp. 383-401. Plenum Press, New York, USA.

Norconk, M. A. 2007. Saki, uakaris, and titi monkeys: behavioral diversity in a radiation of primate seed predators. In: C. J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. C.MacKinnon, M. Panger and S. K. Bearder (eds), Primates in Perspectives, pp. 123-138. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Oliver, W. L. R. and Santos, I. B. 1991. Threatened endemic mammals of the Atlantic forest region of south-east Brazil. Wildlife Preservation Trust, Special Scientific Report 4: 1-125.

Printes, R. C. 2005. Novos registros sobre a distribuição do guigó-da-caatinga Callicebus barbarabrownae (Hershkovitz, 1990) e novo limite sul de Callicebus coimbrai (Kobayashi & Langguth, 1999). XI Congresso Brasileiro de Primatologia, Resumos. Porto Alegre.

Printes, R. C., Jerusalinsky, L., Cardoso de Sousa, M. and Rodrigues, L. R. R. In prep.. Zoogeography, Genetic Variation and Conservation of the Callicebus personatus Group. In: A. A. Barnett, L. M. Veiga, S. F. Ferrari and M. A. Norconk (eds), Evolutionary Biology and Conservation of Titis, Sakis and Uacaris, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Sousa, M. C., Santos, S. S. and Valente M. C. M. In prep.. Distribuição e variação na pelagem de Callicebus coimbrai (Primates, Pitheciidae) nos Estados de Sergipe e Bahia, Brasil.

Van Roosmalen, M. G. M., Van Roosmalen, T. and Mittermeier, R.A. 2002. A taxonomic review of the titi monkeys, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903, with the description of two new species, Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennashi, from Brazilian Amazonia. Neotropical Primates 10: 1-52.

Citation: Veiga, L.M., Printes, R.C., Ferrari, S.F., Kierulff, C.M., de Oliveira, M.M. & Mendes, S.L. 2008. Callicebus melanochir. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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