About the Project

Brown spider monkey Ateles hybridus is of particular interest for conservation, it is extremely endangered due to habitat destruction, it is distributed in both Colombia and Venezuela. It’s included in the list of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world 2012-2014 by (IUCNSSC). The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies Ateles hybridus as Critically Endangered (IUCN, 2003), In the Venezuelan Red Book, A. hybridus has been declared Endangered (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suarez. 1999).

In the absence of information and research on the spider monkey Ateles hybridus in Venezuela, the researcher Diana Duque began his doctoral research thesis on the conservation status of this species. She is studying the historical distribution of the brown spider monkey in Venezuela, while she is also conducting a systematic survey to estimate the population density in the Caparo Forest Reserve.

The Caparo Forest Reserve is located at the western plains of Venezuela. In this reserve there are remains of seasonal forests that occupied the plains of Venezuela and Colombia (see more details in the section “Caparo Forest Reserve”). This reserve in one of the locations where this monkey is distributed in the country and belongs to the area that is considered the most threatened for the species.

It is very alarming the situation in which the spider monkey in the Caparo Forest Reserve, with an continuous forest that occupied an area of 184,100 ha, it was reduced to a 7,000 ha of continuous forest plus several small isolated forest fragments up to 150 ha (see section Caparo Forest Reserve). These forest fragments are surrounded by about 1,200 farms established by invaders that use the land essentially for livestock. Groups of spider monkeys have been found in some of these forest fragments during this project.

The threats of invasion, logging in natural forests and plantations for illegal timber extraction are seriously affecting the survival of the population in Caparo

The aim of the project

The aim of this project is the long-term conservation of the spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) and its habitat in the Caparo Forest Reserve

Project specific objectives

  1. Conducting scientific research that allow to know diverse aspects of the ecology of the species, its threats, habitat status and effects of fragmentationin the local population.
  2. Training young researchers and local youth in the community, on issues of ecology, environmental education and conservation.
  3. Implementing actions to conserve the spider monkey populations and its habitat in the Caparo Forest Reserve.
  4. Implement an environmental education program to raise awareness among local community about the importance of preserving this species and its habitat in the Caparo Forest Reserve.
  5. Incorporate the local community in projects involving sustainable practices for the maintenance of forests and biodiversity.

The Spider Monkey Conservation Project is starting now, so the first goal in this project is to generate interest in the study of this species that hasn’t been studied enough and it’s hardly known in Venezuela, to integrate other interested researchers and students, field assistants, volunteers, local community, national and international organizations to support and consolidate the Spider Monkey Conservation Project ! Join us!