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14.09.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 13/2018

Biodiversity and Conservation 13/2018

Distribution, population density and conservation of the critically endangered brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) and other primates of the inter-Andean forests of Colombia

Zeitschrift:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Ausgabe 13/2018
Autoren:
Ana Gabriela de Luna, Andrés Link
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Clinton Jenkins.
This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Forest and plantation biodiversity.

Abstract

The inter-Andean tropical rainforests and dry forests of the Magdalena river basin (Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena biodiversity hotspot) in northern Colombia have undergone significant forest loss and degradation in recent decades. Six primate species inhabit this region, five of which are currently threatened with extinction and one of which—the brown spider monkey, Ateles hybridus—is considered critically endangered. Accurate and recent information on the distribution and conservation status of these threatened primate populations is scarce or nonexistent, even though such data are needed to implement successful conservation actions and management plans. Between 2006 and 2016, we evaluated the status and distribution of primates across inter-Andean lowland forests in northern Colombia. We visited 30 sites to evaluate the presence/absence of brown spider monkeys and other primate taxa in the region. We also carried out surveys at 10 of these sites to obtain estimates of primate population densities and demographic information from forests with different levels of anthropogenic disturbance. Novel data on primate presence/absence were obtained for 27 sites, and 136 records were collected in total. Only 33% of the sites visited were large forest fragments (> 500 Ha). This study confirms that at least six primate species are still present in the Rio Magdalena region, which represents the highest platyrrhine diversity west of the Andes. This study also confirms the persistence of a wild population of Colombian woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha lugens) in the Serranía de San Lucas. Assigning formal protected status to this region is an urgent priority for the conservation of primates in the Rio Magdalena region.

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