Four Major Monkey Species of Costa Rica

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Costa Rica Eco Lodges | Comments Off on Four Major Monkey Species of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is home to different species of monkeys. This include squirrel monkey, white-headed Capuchin, the mantled hawler, spider monkey, wolly monkey, miriquis and many more. But the four major species, the squirrel, white-headed capuchin, the mantled hawler and the spider monkeys are the main attractions in Costa Rica. Each of the four species are seen in national parks, where viewing them is a popular tourist activity.

The Mantled Howler Monkey

The-Mantled-Howler-MonkeyThese monkeys are also called Alouatta palliata. These monkeys were named for their throaty howls that are heard up to three miles. They are the largest of all New World monkeys. These howls are used to communicate with others within a troop or mark a territory. They usually live in lowland and montane rain forests. They weigh up to 20 pounds and have black fur with their brown or golden-colored mantle formed by long hairs along their flanks and back being noticeable. They are animals that eats mainly leaves, fruit, and flowers. They are found in canopies of mountain forests and lowlands in Costa Rica. Eco-lodges are the perfect place to watch this type of monkey.

The Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel_MonkeyThis is the smallest of all the Costa Rican monkey species. They have a slender build with a short greyish dense coat. The face is white and the ears, head, back, throat and legs are yellow to grey-green and the other parts are yellow to white. Squirrel monkeys have thirsty-six teeth; with a male having upper canine teeth. The adult male average weight is 0.8kg (1.8lb) while the adult female average weight is 0.7kg (1.5lb). They live in only in secondary forests and partly logged primary forests and the south and central pacific coast of Costa Rica, and the pacific coast of panama near the Coast Rican border meaning that they are the most restricted of all the Costa Rican monkey. They mostly feed on insects which make up about 75% to 80% of its diet. They form troops of 2 to 30 monkeys that have few male monkeys. A squirrel is monkey feeds primarily early in the morning. They are the second after gibbons in being agile on trees using their tail as the third limb. The subspecies (saimiri oerstedii oerstedii) is much endangered, with probably less than 2000 in the wild. There are some eco-lodges including Sabalo Eco-Lodge, Saladero Eco Lodge, and Tiskita Jungle Lodge from where you can watch Squirrel monkeys.

The Spider Monkey

Spider_MonkeyThis type of monkey belongs to the family of cebidae (new world monkeys). There are seven kind of species of the spider monkey. These include the red-faced, white-fronted, Peruvian, the brown, white-cheeked, black-headed and the last is the geoffroy’s. They are found in tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. They live in the lush green rainforests, flat lowlands, mountain forests and the mangrove jungles. They like wet places more than dry places and are usually found living higher in the canopy not in the ground. Its length is 14 to26 inches (35 to 66 cm). The average weight is between 6-10kg. They are omnivorous and 90% of their meal comprises of made up of nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits and insects in the wild. There are some Eco-lodges including La Leona Eco Lodge, Sabalo Eco-Lodge, and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge from where you can see these monkeys.

White-Faced Capuchin Monkey

White-Faced Capuchin MonkeyThese mammals belong to cebidae family. An adult male weighs 2.6-4.1 kg and female is 3.2-5.5 kg.Their length is 35-45 cm excluding the tail. They also have larger brains than other larger monkeys. They are omnivores with its diet being both insects and fruits. They prefer primary and secondary forests. Usually a single male dominates the whole group and he enjoys the rights to mate with the females of the group. They are usually found in wet, dry, primary, and secondary forests. But they prefer tropical evergreens and dry deciduous forests. They are considered as the most curious and charismatic monkey found in Costa Rica.