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Squirrel Monkey

Fact File

Class: Mammal
Order: Primate
Family: Marmosets, Tamarins, Capuchins & Squirrel Monkeys
Found: South America
Height: 30cm
Weight:  800g


Diet: Omnivore (Eats Plants & Meat)
Gestation:  160 days


Conservation Status: LC

Squirrel Monkey

Saimiri Sciureus

Habitats: This monkey prefers the middle canopy in rainforests they like vegetation which provides good cover from birds of prey. Squirrel monkeys are diurnal (active during the day).  They are arboreal (tree living)  foraging  in the medium and lower levels  of the forest and sleeping close to the canopy.

Threats: The Squirrel Monkey is among many rainforest animals threatened by deforestation. The species has also been captured extensively for the pet trade and for medical research.

Social Behaviour: Females are the dominant members of the group reaching sexual maturity at 3 years old (5 for males).   Squirrel Monkeys live together in multi male/multi female groups with up to 500 members these groups are subdivided into adult male bands, mother-infant bands, and juvenile bands. Adult females with their young form the core of the group. It is common to see these Squirrel Monkeys in mixed groups, moving along with other primate species and birds.

Food: Omnivore eating fruits, nectar, seeds, leaves, eggs, tree frogs and insects depending upon what is available.   Squirrel Monkeys rarely go after moving insects preferring to capture stationary insects on plants. They hunt for insects on the surface of leaves or by unfolding leaf curls of dead foliage and prefer caterpillars and grasshoppers.

Information: This monkey travels through the forest quadrupedally (on all fours) on the branches, and moves through the trees by leaping. They have thighs that are shorter relative to their lower legs giving them more jumping force.  

Range: In the tropical forests of Central and South America. In the tropical forests of Central and South America. 

How we are Protecting Wild Animals
Throughout most of tropical America large macaws have suffered major population declines as a result of habitat loss and poaching for the pet trade.

The Tambopata Macaw Project is a long term research project, which studies the behaviour, ecology and diet of wild parrots and macaws. The research includes monitoring of home range and habitat use, using GPS surveillance technology, and the study of breeding behaviour through the use of specially designed bird nest boxes with the inclusion of remote cameras.

The project also works to protect the forest – in particular the bird’s nesting and feeding sites. This is largely done by promoting ecotourism in the area – this boosts funds and awareness for the local wildlife as well as providing higher security from illegal logging and poaching.

The information our scientists have uncovered so far has been invaluable to the care and protection of these threatened species, both in this area and across the globe.

Safari Zoo Animals Protected by This Project

Other Wild Animals Protected by This Project