Spider Monkey Project
Threatened by habitat loss and illegal pet trade, the Geoffroy’s spider monkey is listed as Endangered by the IUCN but little is known about the factors affecting its habitat use and socio-ecology.
Members of the Liverpool John Moores University, Chester University, Instituto Politécnico Nacional Universidad Veracruzana and the Mexican NGO, ConMonoMaya, have run a successful long-term project on the socio-ecology and conservation of this emblematic species since 1997 with two main field sites in Mexico and Costa Rica and we have been supporting their work since 2003.
The information collected is crucial for the conservation of the Geoffroy’s spider monkey and provide conservationists with valuable in-depth knowledge of the species.
The project now integrates an educational component and focusses on protecting the species and their habitat by mitigating the pet trade and promoting forest conservation through environmental education.
The project’s main objectives include:
- Collecting and analysing long-term data on the socio-ecology of Geoffroy’s spider monkeys in Santa Rosa Sector, Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica and various locations of the Yucatan peninsula, such as Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh Nature Reserve, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Bala’an K’aax Flora and Fauna Protected Area, as well as non-protected areas inland from the touristic area of the Riviera Maya.
- Training local assistants to enhance their skills in using GPS, collecting samples and to increase their knowledge of the monkey’s biology and conservation
- Raising awareness among school children of issues related to the pet trade and highlighting the important role played by spider monkeys in the local ecosystems