Primate Info Net Banner Wisconsin PRC Logo

Bearded saki


CITES: Appendix II, Appendix I (C. albinasus only) (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: C. satanas: CR; C. albinasus, C. utahicki: EN; C. chiropotes, C. israelita: LC (What is Red List?)
Key: CR = Critically endangered, EN = Endangered, EN = Endangered, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Chiropotes chiropotes
C. chiropotes
Photo: Luiz Claudio Marigo

The southern bearded saki (C. satanas) habitat is centered in one of the most disturbed and populated areas of the Amazon (Johns & Ayres 1987). This illustrates a serious conservation problem for the genus, since the two most geographically restricted species (C. satanas and C. utahicki) also have the most severe threats to their survival (Ferrari et al. 1999).


Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation

Like most primates, loss of habitat represents the primary threat to the survival of bearded sakis and is continuing and widespread (Johns & Ayres 1987; Silva & Ferrari 2009). In 1984, a dam flooded 2400 acres of mostly primary rainforest in the C. satanas range, not only destroying habitat, but also increasing development at the margins of the newly formed lake (Johns & Ayres 1987). Mining and railroads for mining product extraction and the development they bring also threaten bearded saki habitats (Johns & Ayres 1987; Malacco & Fernandes 1989). Other threats to their habitat include forest clearance for agriculture, large-scale road projects, hydroelectric power generation, pastoral farming, and colonization programs (Malacco & Fernandes 1989; Bobadilla & Ferrari 2000). Bearded sakis are not found in areas where significant fragmentation is coupled with hunting, but they can survive in some fragmented areas (Ferrari et al. 1999). Contrary to earlier reports of an inability to survive in disturbed habitats, bearded sakis may be more tolerant than previously thought to disturbance (Johns & Ayres 1987; Ferrari et al. 1999; Bobadilla & Ferrari 2000). In fact, fragments as small as 50 km² may be able to sustain populations, but fragmentation does profoundly affect the ecology of the species (Ferrari et al. 1999; Boyle et al. 2009).

Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)

Bearded saki monkeys are hunted for food, as well as other reasons (sometimes the tail is taken for use as a souvenir or duster) (Johns & Ayres 1987; Ferrari et al. 1999). Hunting becomes more of a threat when coupled with habitat degradation and deforestation (Cormier 2000). In general, indigenous hunting of bearded sakis does not necessarily threaten the species as the cull is often very low, and in fact reserves for indigenous peoples may actually help in the conservation of the species, as they help stem deforestation (Cormier 2000). Roads can increase hunting, as they facilitate access to bearded saki populations (Johns & Ayres 1987).




Content last modified: June 26, 2009

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Sarah Boyle.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2009 June 26. Primate Factsheets: Bearded saki (Chiropotes) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2020 August 15.