New Primate Species Discovered

First the good news, a new species of primate has been discovered in the Southern Caqueta region of Columbia by researchers from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota (Defler et al., 2010). Now for the bad news, virtually any newly discovered primate species is critically endangered, and so it is with the Caqueta titi monkey (Callicebus caquetensis).

Figure 1. An adult Caqueta titi monkey. (from Defler et al., 2010)

Although it is similar to
C. ornatus and C. discolor, the new species is distinct in its facial coloration and in aspects of its chromosomal structure.

Thirteen groups of Caqueta titi monkeys, averaging 4 individuals per group, were observed between Rio Orteguaza and Rio Caqueta in Southern Columbia. Defler and colleagues (2010) report that the forest is extremely fragmented in this region, making it very difficult for members of this new primate species to cross agricultural lands from one forest patch to another. Caqueta titi monkeys have an estimated population size of fewer than 250 individuals. The small population size coupled with its fragmented habitat suggests that these titi monkeys are critically endangered.

References:

Defler, T.R., Bueno, M.L., and J. Garcia. 2010.
Callicebus caquetensis: A new and critically endangered titi monkey from Southern Caqueta Colombia. Primate Conservation, 25:1-9. Available as a pdf from http://www.primate-sg.org/PDF/PC25_Defler_C caquetensis_FINAL.pdf