San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
monkey business

Costa Rica squirrel monkeys: Conservation group holds fundraiser to count endangered species

You can still hear them howl from the jungle and see them swing from the trees, but biologists know some of Costa Rica’s monkeys are endangered, they just don’t know how endangered.

Lacking funding for research, biologists have been unable to perform a comprehensive count of one of Costa Rica’s sub-species of squirrel monkeys, Saimiri oerstedii citronellus, since 2001. Squirrel monkeys are the most endangered species of monkey in Central America and an accurate population count is crucial to their conservation. This specific subspecies of squirrel monkey is found only in the central Pacific region of Costa Rica. Another subspecies of squirrel monkey, S. o. oerstedii, lives south of the Térraba River.

The Titi Titi Conservation Alliance held an online auction to raise funds for a monkey count. People looking to donate to the cause can bid on vacations, tours and other items valued between $60 and $7,000.

The organization is hoping to raise $25,000, 80 percent of which will go to the monkey count. The other 20 percent will be used for the organization’s reforestation projects throughout the central Pacific region.

Contact Lindsay Fendt at lfendt@ticotimes.net

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