- Date: August 26, 2011
- In This Story:
Scientists have discovered a new species of monkey on an expedition into one of the least known areas of the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting the need for increased protection of rainforests.
The monkey is a new species of titi monkey and features different colored markings on its head and tail. These distinct features have not been observed before in other monkeys of the same group.
The discovery, by biologist Júlio Dalponte, took place on a 590 mile expedition in an area between the Guariba River and the Roosevelt River. These are two of the most important rivers in the north western part of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. Before the expedition, little was known about the area as scientists had yet to fully explore it.
Did you know?
The Roosevelt River is named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt who explored the region in a 1912 expedition.
Scientists spotted five animals on the endangered species list during their journey including the:
• giant anteater
• giant armadillo
• giant otter
The trek also revealed:
• 48 different mammals live in the region, including armadillos, anteaters, deer and monkeys
• 208 species of fish, two of them potentially new species
• 313 bird species, two migratory
The presence of these species highlights the importance of protecting their home from illegal deforestation and the unregulated expansion of cattle farms. Mato Grasso has the highest rate of deforestation in the Amazon.
WWF is working with governments and local communities to update and implement a management plan that will help preserve the forests under threat.