|Scientific Name:||Oreonax flavicauda|
|Species Authority:||(Humboldt, 1812)|
Lagothrix 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.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered A4c ver 3.1|
|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.
|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.|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|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).|
|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).
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).
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).
|Citation:||Cornejo, F., Rylands, A.B., Mittermeier, R.A. & Heymann, E. 2008. Oreonax flavicauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.|