Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda): Conservation Status, Anthropogenic Threats, and Conservation Initiatives

  • Noga ShaneeEmail author
  • Sam Shanee
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR, volume 39)


This chapter examines threats and conservation opportunities for the Critically Endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda), a species endemic to northeastern Peru. Inherent traits make this species susceptible to extinction from threats identified here as habitat loss, hunting, selective logging, road construction, extractive industry, and climate change, all of which are increasing. Using current range estimates, available habitat, and published density estimates, we present here the first estimate for L. flavicauda population size. We estimate a current population of between 88,622 and 10,564 individuals, which represents a reduction of between 46  and 93 % of the estimated original population since 1981. These numbers represent maximum population estimates as they only consider habitat availability, disregarding hunting pressure. It is clear that both the species’ population size and habitat are decreasing. State conservation efforts do not fully mitigate threats to this species, but land protection by private actors, especially rural communities through the creation of protected areas and landscape-level conservation, offers an innovative and increasingly popular conservation alternative.


Lagothrix flavicauda Yellow-tailed woolly monkey Conservation status 


  1. Ancrenaz M, Dabek L, O’Neil S (2007) The costs of exclusion: recognizing a role for local communities in biodiversity conservation. PLoS Biol 5(11):289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Araujo C, Bonjean CA, Combes JL, Combes Motel P, Reis EJ (2009) Property rights and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Ecol Econ 68(8–9):2461–2468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arellano-Yanguas J (2008) A thoroughly modern resource curse? The new natural resource policy agenda and the mining revival in Peru. University of Sussex. Institute of development studies (IDS), BrightonGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnett AA, Borges SH, Castilho C, Neri FM, Shapley RL (2002) Primates of the Jaú National Park, Amazonas, Brazil. Neotrop Primates 10(2):65–70Google Scholar
  5. Bartra, C. (2010), ‘Santuario Nacional Cordillera de Colán: Maravilla Natural De Amazonas, El Perú Y El Mundo’, (Bagua Grande: Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (SERNANP).Google Scholar
  6. Bawa KS, Dayanandan S (1998) Global climate change and tropical forest genetic resources. Clim Chang 39(2–3):473–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bebbington A (1990) Farmer knowledge, institutional resources and sustainable agricultural strategies: a case study from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes. Bull Latin Am Res 9(2):203–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett AF (1999) Linkages in the landscape: the role of corridors and connectivity in wildlife conservation. IUCN, GlandGoogle Scholar
  9. Bierregaard RO, Lovejoy TE, Kapos V, dos Santos AA, Hutchings RW (1992) The biological dynamics of tropical rainforest fragments. Bioscience 42(11):859–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bodmer RE, Eisenberg JF, Redford KH (1997) Hunting and the likelihood of extinction of Amazonian mammals. Conserv Biol 11(2):460–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brashares JS (2003) Ecological, behavioral, and life-history correlates of mammal extinctions in West Africa. Conserv Biol 17(3):733–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brooks N, Adger WN (2003) Country level risk measures of climate-related natural disasters and implications for adaptation to climate change. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchGoogle Scholar
  13. Bubb P, May I, Miles L, Sayer J (2004) Cloud forest agenda. UNEP-WCMC, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  14. Buckingham F, Shanee S (2009) Conservation priorities for the Peruvian yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda): a GIS risk assessment and gap analysis. Primate Conserv 24:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cardillo M, Mace GM, Jones KE, Bielby J, Bininda-Emonds ORP, Sechrest W, Orme CDL, Purvis A (2005) Multiple causes of high extinction risk in large mammal species. Science 309(5738):1239–1241PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. CDC-UNALM (2004) Análisis y modelación espacio-temporal del pasaje en las áreas de intervención del PDA. Universidad Nacional Agraria, La Molina/US AID/WWF, LimaGoogle Scholar
  17. Chapman CA, Peres CA (2001) Primate conservation in the new millennium: the role of scientists. Evol Anthropol 10(1):16–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chomitz KM, Gray DA (1996) Roads, land use, and deforestation: a spatial model applied to Belize. World Bank Econ Rev 10(3):487–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Corlett RT, Lafrankie JV (1998) Potential impacts of climate change on tropical Asian forests through an influence on phenology. Clim Chang 39(2):439–453. doi:10.1023/a:1005328124567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cornejo FM (2007) Estado de Conservación de Lagothrix flavicauda “Mono choro cola amarilla” en el Área de Conservación Privada Abra Patricia—Alto Nieva. Report submitted to Margot Marsh Biodiversity FoundationGoogle Scholar
  21. Courchamp F, Clutton-Brock T, Grenfell B (1999) Inverse density dependence and the Allee effect. Trends Ecol Evol 14:405–410PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cowlishaw G, Dunbar RIM (2000) Primate conservation biology. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  23. DeLuycker A (2007) Notes on the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) and its status in the protected forest of Alto Mayo, northern Peru. Primate Conserv 22:41–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Di Fiore A (2002) Predator sensitive foraging in the ateline primates. In: Miller L (ed) Eat or be eaten: predator sensitive foraging among primates. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 242–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Di Fiore A, Link A, Campbell CJ (2011) The atelines: behavioral and socio-ecological diversity in a new world monkey radiation. In: Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon KC, Bearder SK, Stumpf RM (eds) Primates in perspective, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxordGoogle Scholar
  26. Dietsche E, Stevens P, Elliott D, Jiwanji M (2007) The challenge of mineral wealth: using resource endowments to foster sustainable development. Peru, Country case study. International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)Google Scholar
  27. Dourojeanni MJ (1981) Estudio sobre el impacto ambiental de los proyectos de carreteras en la Selva Central del Perú Oficina de Estudios Económicos Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones. LimaGoogle Scholar
  28. Dourojeanni M, Barandiarán A, Dourojeanni D (2009) Amazonia Peruana en 2021. ProNaturaleza, Lima, PeruGoogle Scholar
  29. ESRI (2011) ArcMAP. Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Accessed 20 Aug 2011Google Scholar
  30. Estrada A (2007) Human and non-human primate co-existence in the neotropics: a preliminary view of some agricultural practices as a complement for primate conservation. Ecol Environ Anthropol 2(2):17–29Google Scholar
  31. Fearnside PM (1986) Spatial concentration of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Ambio 15(2):74–81Google Scholar
  32. Fjeldså J, Álvarez MD, Lazcano JM, León B (2005) Illicit crops and armed conflict as constraints on biodiversity conservation in the Andes region. Ambio 34(3):205–211PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Foster P (2001) The potential negative impacts of global climate change on tropical montane cloud forests. Earth-Sci Rev 55(1–2):73–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Frankham R (1995) Conservation genetics. Annu Rev Genet 29(1):305–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gascon C, Lovejoy TE, Bierregaard RO, Malcolm JR, Stouffer PC, Vasconcelos HL, Laurance WF, Zimmerman B, Tocher M, Borges S (1999) Matrix habitat and species richness in tropical forest remnants. Biol Conserv 91(2–3):223–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gaston KJ (1994) Rarity, vol 13. Chapman & Hall, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Groves C (2001) Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  38. Hansen AJ, Spies TA, Swanson FJ, Ohmann J (1991) Conserving biodiversity in managed forests. Bioscience 41(6):382–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hanya G, Noma N, Agetsuma N (2003) Altitudinal and seasonal variations in the diet of Japanese macaques in Yakushima. Primates 44(1):51–59PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Harcourt AH, Coppeto S, Parks S (2002) Rarity, specialization and extinction in primates. J Biogeogr 29(4):445–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Harris LD (1984) The fragmented forest: island biogeography theory and the preservation of biotic diversity. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  42. INEI (2007) Resultados Definitivos. Censos Nacionales 2007. Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, PeruGoogle Scholar
  43. Isaac NJB, Cowlishaw G (2004) How species respond to multiple extinction threats. Proc Biol Sci 271(1544):1135–1141PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Jerozolimski A, Peres CA (2003) Bringing home the biggest bacon: a cross-site analysis of the structure of hunter-kill profiles in Neotropical forests. Biol Conserv 111(3):415–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Johns AG (1997) Timber production and biodiversity conservation in tropical rain forests. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Johns AD, Skorupa JP (1987) Responses of rain-forest primates to habitat disturbance: a review. Int J Primatol 8(2):157–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kaimowitz D (1996) Livestock and deforestation in Central America in the 1980s and 1990s: a policy perspective. CIFORGoogle Scholar
  48. Kotiaho JS, Kaitala V, Komonen A, Päivinen J (2005) Predicting the risk of extinction from shared ecological characteristics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102(6):1963PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Krebs, C. J. (1999). Ecological methodology. Menlo Park: Benjamin Cummings.Google Scholar
  50. Lande R, Landweber LF, Dobson AP (1999) Extinction risks from anthropogenic, ecological, and genetic factors. In: Landweber LF, Dobson AP (eds) Genetics and the extinction of species. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 1–22Google Scholar
  51. Laurance WF (1998) A crisis in the making: responses of Amazonian forests to land use and climate change. Trends Ecol Evol 13(10):411–415PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Laurance WF, Cochrane MA, Bergen S, Fearnside PM, Delamônica P, Barber C, D’Angelo S, Fernandes T (2001) The future of the Brazilian Amazon. Science 291(5503):438–439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Laurance WF, Albernaz AKM, Schroth G, Fearnside PM, Bergen S, Venticinque EM, Da Costa C (2002) Predictors of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. J Biogeogr 29(5–6):737–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Leo Luna M (1980) Field study of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Oryx 15:386–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Leo Luna M (1982) Conservation of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) in Peru. Int Zoo Yearb 22:47–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Leo Luna M (1987) Primate conservation in Peru: a case study of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Primate Conserv 8:122–123Google Scholar
  57. Leo Luna M (1989) Biología y Conservación del Mono Choro de Cola Amarilla (Lagothrix flavicauda), Especie en Peligro de Extinción. la Primatología en Latinoamérica. In: Saavedra CJ, Mittermeier RA, Santos IB (eds) La Primatología en Latinoamérica. WWFGoogle Scholar
  58. Lyon J, Horwich RH (1996) Modification of tropical forest patches for wildlife protection and community conservation in Belize. In: Shelhas J, Greenberg R (eds) Forest patches in tropical landscapes. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  59. Margules CR, Pressey RL (2000) Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405(6783):243–253PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Markham A (1998) Potential impacts of climate change on tropical forest ecosystems. Clim Chang 39(2):141–143. doi:10.1023/a:1005396327379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Marsh LK (2003) Primates in fragments: ecology and conservation. Plenum, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. McMahon G, Remy F (2001) Large mines and the community: socioeconomic and environmental effects in Latin America, Canada, and Spain. International development research centre, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  63. MEM (2011) Ubicacion de los derechos mineros por departamento a nivel nacional Ministerio de Energia y Mina. Accessed 10 Aug 2011
  64. Mendelsohn R (1994) Property rights and tropical deforestation. Oxford Econ Pap 46:750–756Google Scholar
  65. Mittermeier RA, Gil PR, Pilgrim J, Hoffman M, Brooks T, Goettsch C (2004) Hotspots revisited. CEMEX, 2004Google Scholar
  66. Mittermeier RA, Rylands AB, Schwitzer C, Taylor LA, Chiozza F, Williamson EA (2012) Primatesin Peril: the world’s 25 most endangered primates 2010–2012. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG), International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI), Arlington, 40 p.Google Scholar
  67. Nepstad D, Carvalho G, Cristina Barros A, Alencar A, Paulo Capobianco J, Bishop J (2001) Road paving, fire regime feedbacks, and the future of Amazon forests. Forest Ecol Manag 154(3):395–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Newmark WD (1987) A land-bridge island perspective on mammalian extinctions in western North American parks. Nature 325(6103):430–432PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. O’Grady JJ, Reed DH, Brook BW, Frankham R (2004) What are the best correlates of predicted extinction risk? Biol Conserv 118(4):513–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Palacios E, Peres CA (2005) Primate population densities in three nutrient-poor Amazonian terra firme forests of south-eastern Colombia. Folia Primatol 76(3):135–145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Peres CA (2001) Synergistic effects of subsistence hunting and habitat fragmentation on Amazonian forest vertebrates. Conserv Biol 15(6):1490–1505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Peres CA (2008) Soil fertility and arboreal mammal biomass in tropical forests. In: Carson WP, Schnitzer SA (eds) Tropical forest community ecology. Wiley, Oxford, pp 349–364Google Scholar
  73. Peres CA, Terborgh JW (1995) Amazonian nature reserves: an analysis of the defensibility status of existing conservation units and design criteria for the future. Conserv Biol 9(1):34–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pichón FJ (1997) Colonist land-allocation decisions, land use, and deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon frontier. Econ Dev Cult Change 45(4):707–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Pinasco Vela K, Del Águila Arévalo C, Egoavil Flores M (2009) Mineria en San Martin. Serie de Publicaciones Virtuales de AMPA. Amazonicos para la Amazonia (AMPA), MoyobambaGoogle Scholar
  76. PROCLIM/CONAM (2005) Informe del Proyecto PROCLIM—CONAM. INRENA, LimaGoogle Scholar
  77. Purvis A, Gittleman JL, Cowlishaw G, Mace GM (2000) Predicting extinction risk in declining species. Proc Biol Sci 267(1456):1947–1952PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Ranta P, Blom T, Niemela J, Joensuu E, Siitonen M (1998) The fragmented Atlantic rain forest of Brazil: size, shape and distribution of forest fragments. Biodivers Conserv 7(3):385–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Robinson JG, Bennett EL (2000) Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  80. Robinson JG, Bennett EL (2004) Having your wildlife and eating it too: an analysis of hunting sustainability across tropical ecosystems. Anim Conserv 7(04):397–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Robinson JG, Bodmer RE (1999) Towards wildlife management in tropical forests. J Wildlife Manag 63(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rowe N, Martinez W (2003) Callicebus sightings in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Neotrop Primates 11(1):32–35Google Scholar
  83. Sayers K, Norconk MA (2008) Himalayan Semnopithecus entellus at Langtang National Park, Nepal: diet, activity patterns, and resources. Int J Primatol 29(2):509–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Shanee S (2009) Modelling spider monkeys Ateles spp. Gray, 1825: ecological responses and conservation implications to increased elevation. J Threat Taxa 1:450–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shanee S (2011) Distribution survey and threat assessment of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda; Humboldt 1812), Northeastern Peru. Int J Primatol 32(1):691–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Shanee N (2012a) The dynamics of threats and conservation efforts for the Tropical Andes hotspot in Amazonas and San Martin, Peru. PhD thesis, Kent University, CanterburyGoogle Scholar
  87. Shanee N (2012b) Trends in local wildlife hunting, trade and control in the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot, northeastern Peru. Endanger Species Res 19:177–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Shanee N, Shanee S, Horwich RH (in press) Locally run conservation initiatives in northeastern Peru and their effectiveness as conservation methods OryxGoogle Scholar
  89. Shanee S, Shanee N (2011) Population density estimates of the critically endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkeys (Lagothrix flavicauda) at La Esperanza, Northeastern Peru. Int J Primatol 32:878–888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Shanee N, Shanee S, Maldonado AM (2007a) Conservation assessment and planning for the yellow tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) in Peru. Wildlife Biol Prac 3(2):73–82Google Scholar
  91. Shanee N, Shanee S, Maldonado AM (2007b) Interspecific association between Oreonax and Ateles, Amazonas, Peru. Neotrop Primates 14(1):34–35Google Scholar
  92. Shanee S, Shanee N, Cornejo FM (2008a) La Esperanza, Peru: Community Based Conservation Project for the Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey. Neotropical Primate ConservationGoogle Scholar
  93. Shanee S, Shanee N, Maldonado AM (2008b) Distribution and conservation status of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda, Humboldt 1812) in Amazonas and San Martin, Peru. Neotrop Primates 14(3):115–119Google Scholar
  94. Soule ME (1983) What do we really know about extinction? In: Schonewald-Cox CM, Chambers SM, Macbride B, Thomas L (eds) Genetics and conservation. Benjamin/Cummings, pp 111–124Google Scholar
  95. Southgate D, Sierra R, Brown L (1991) The causes of tropical deforestation in Ecuador: a statistical analysis. World Dev 19(9):1145–1151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. SPDA (2013) Iniciativa para la Conservación Privada y Comunal. SPDA and Iniciativa para la Conservación Privada y Comunal. Accessed 10 Aug 2012
  97. Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, de Haan C (2006) Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  98. Still CJ, Foster PN, Schnieder SH (1999) Simulating the effects of climate change on tropical montane cloud forests. Nature 398:608–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Terborgh J (1992) Maintenance of diversity in tropical forests. Biotropica 24(2):283–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. UNFCCC (2007) Climate change: impacts, vulnerabilities and adaption in developing countries. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, BonnGoogle Scholar
  101. van der Hammen T (2005) Global change biodiversity, and conservation of neotropical montane forests. Biodiversity and Conservation of Neotropical Montane Forests:603–607Google Scholar
  102. Wilkie D, Shaw E, Rotberg F, Morelli G, Auzel P (2000) Roads, development, and conservation in the Congo Basin. Conserv Biol 14(6):1614–1622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Wilson CC, Wilson WL (1975) The influence of selective logging on primates and some other animals in East Kalimantan. Folia Primatol 23(4):245–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Wright PC (2007) Considering climate change effects in lemur ecology and conservation. Lemurs: ecology and adaptation. pp 385–401Google Scholar
  105. Young KR (1994) Roads and the environmental degradation of tropical montane forests. Conserv Biol 8(4):972–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Young KR (1996) Threats to biological diversity caused by coca/cocaine deforestation in Peru. Environ Conserv 23(1):7–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neotropical Primate ConservationManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations