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Monkey: Common squirrel monkey

Saimiri s.sciureus
Mammal

IUCN Status
This species is classed as least concern because of its wide range and large numbers. There is little protection for this species outside national parks and they are often taken from the wild for the pet trade in their native country



Diet

These monkeys will spend 75-80% of their day foraging for fruit, insects and small mammals. During the dry season when fruiting trees are primarily bare they are able to entirely depend on animal prey

Habitat

Squirrel monkeys have a large range from Ecuador and Colombia through to Guyana and Brazil. They occupy many different types of forest depending on the season and when food is available.

Behaviour

Both sexes form a single, linear hierarchy within the group, but most males are still dominant over females. Only males form coalitions and can be aggressive to each other especially when there is competition for fruit in small, dense patches.

Breeding

Squirrel monkeys mate during the dry season and will only have one baby every two years (in the wild)

Fun Facts

Squirrel monkey groups can consist of up to 100 animals which are combined from different troops during the fruiting rainforest season!

As a keeper they are extremely difficult to keep clean as they urinate and cover their hands and feet in faecal matter to scent mark their territory and tell others where they are and have been!

At The Zoo

We have a colony of 9 individuals as of 2015 but this is the first year they have not bred which we suspect is due to the old age of the breeding male. Should we wish to breed again we may have to introduce a new male that will inevitably cause us to exhibit an all-male group as the younger males become excluded!