Neotropical Primate Conservation

The Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey Project

Saving one of the world's most endangered primates from extinction - preserving one of earth's most biodiverse ecosystems; helping local communities appreciate and protect their local heritage.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1131122)




  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • OtherOther




After a survey of the yellow tailed woolly monkey in 2007, Neotropical Primate Conservation implemented a research and conservation project for this species. This runs hand-in-hand with reforestation and sustainable development work. The species (Oreonax flavicauda) is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered and features on the current list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates. It is endemic to a small area of cloud forest in the Tropical Andes region of Peru. This area is known to be the most biodiverse region on earth. Current projects are being run in an area identified during the preliminary survey. This is an area where yellow tailed woolly monkeys are present in relatively high numbers. It is located between the Cordillera de Colan Nature Sanctuary and the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, thus forming a natural rainforest corridor between these two reserves. In recent months preliminary work on registering the first of a series of conservation reserves was completed and has been presented to the Peruvian Government. This will protect 3000 ha of primary cloud forest home to this species. We have also begun work on a further three reserves that could total around 10,000 ha. All this work is made in cooperation with many organisations and institutions and most importantly together with local communities and authorities. This area faces immense pressures from mining concessions, commercial logging and land clearance for cattle ranching and coffee cultivation and its forests are disappearing rapidly. NPC recently published findings from a GIS survey of yellow tailed woolly monkey habitat in Peru and found alarming rates of deforestation and loss, it is estimated that around 50% of the species original habitat is already lost and the remaining forest still under pressure. We are working with people from local communities who are interested in helping to create a network of community run reserve for the conservation of this species. In return we are working to help create sustainable, eco-friendly income alternatives to the current non-sustainable practises in the area. Growing poverty and disastrous local climate changes have given many local people a first hand appreciation of the urgent need to adjust to a more sustainable way of life and are therefore they are more then willing to cooperate in any conservation effort. The project combines the creation of community run reserves with scientific census work within the proposed reserves, a reforestation program using native tree species that are beneficial to humans and wildlife, environmental education and the development of markets for native agriculture products and handicrafts made in the area.