August 17, 2016
Last month we introduced you to the species of ‘big’ monkeys that are most representative of the ecosystems with Manu National Park, with a special focus on the forests that surround Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.
This month we introduce you to the most representative species of ‘small monkeys’ that inhabit the forests of Manu.
Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis):
The most abundant Monkey in Manu is the Squirrel Monkey. These curious and courageous Monkeys are seen regularly feeding on the trees that surround our Lodge. Integrating troops of up to 30 or 40 individuals, these Monkeys dominate the understory of the forest.
Weighing little less that 1kg, these Monkeys pose as little snacks to several species –such as Harpy Eagles- and therefore protect themselves by travelling in great numbers, and by employing an alarm call system.
Brown Capuchin (Sapajus paella):
The other abundant Monkey around our premises is the Brown Capuchin. This somewhat bulkier Monkey shares the same ecological niche than Squirrel Monkeys, and some time travel together, conforming multi-species troops.
Brown Capuchins are exceptionally smart, and some individuals have mastered the use of tools. Some Capuchins have been observed using containers to hold water, using sponges to absorb juice, and using stones as hammers and chisels to penetrate barriers.
Saddle-backed Tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis):
The third species featured in this blog is the Saddle-backed Tamarin. This black-and-chestnut monkey is common in the forest that surrounds our Lodge, but not as common as the two previously mentioned species. The Saddle-backed Tamarin hangs in smaller numbers, and it is also sometimes seen in mixed troops with Squirrel Monkeys and Brown Capuchins.
An interesting fact about this species is that they feed a lot of nectar. Regularly seen feeding off the flowers of the ficus trees. When flowers are unavailable, these monkeys are seen breaking the bark of some trees in order to access the sap, so they can feed off them. Interestingly, some hummingbirds are sometimes seen feeding on these sap holes.
Dusky-titi Monkey (Callicebus moloch)
The fourth -and last- species of small primates featured in this blog are the Dusky-titi Monkeys. This somewhat middle-sized Monkey is one of the rarest monkeys around. They are harder to find because given that they are -mostly- vegetarian, they hardly move around, making them harder to spot. Once they find a fruiting tree or other source of food, they stay in the area for several days.
We normally see the Dusky-titi Monkey feeding in the trees that circle our Oxbow Lakes. Recently, we have been developing a new trail that goes from the Lodge towards our Blanco Oxbow Lake -our biggest and most biodiverse ‘cocha’- and we have found unusually high densities of these monkeys on said trail. Next year we will do a post describing all our trails, once they are all operative.
If you have any questions or want to know about a specific topic, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you wish to try to see some of these –and several more- species, please contact us so we can suit you with a perfect itinerary.