Volunteers make strides in Peruvian spider monkey release project
Tracking the success of spider monkey reintroduction into Taricaya
Volunteers on the Rainforest Conservation Project in Peru are making exciting progress in the heart of the Amazon, with the reintroduction of the Peruvian spider monkey (Ateles chamek) into the wild. Based in the Taricaya Ecological Reserve, Projects Abroad volunteers are tasked with restoring and preserving one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
The Peruvian spider monkey is a threatened species due to human exploitation, such as hunting for bush meat, the pet trade, and habitat loss. The primate was locally extinct, but after years of research and dedication, volunteers at Taricaya have been able to release four troops of these monkeys back into the wild, making this project a resounding success.
Volunteers monitor the released monkeys with radio collars and telemetry equipment, allowing them to follow the animals’ progress over the years and provide assistance to injured individuals or those in poor health when necessary. The majority of tracking has shown that the Peruvian spider monkeys have now acclimatized to the area that they used to inhabit over 50 years ago.
To make this success even greater, a third baby monkey has now been born in the wild, proving that the work being done by our conservation volunteers is making a positive and sustainable impact in Taricaya. We are excited to hear that the babies born into the troops last year are also thriving.
Projects Abroad Peru leads the way in primate rehabilitation efforts
Testament to the success of the project, our volunteers in Peru have been contacted by people from all over Latin America for advice on how to implement similar programs with other large primate species in their countries. In order to address these questions, Projects Abroad held a five-day course at Taricaya, where volunteers presented their work both at the rescue center and in the field. Biologists came from countries such as Belize, Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador to learn from our staff and volunteers and to see if they are able to implement similar release projects in their respective regions.
We are extremely proud that our volunteers are pioneering such an important project and are at the forefront of conservation efforts in the Amazon Rainforest.