Primate Info Net Banner Wisconsin PRC Logo

Dusky titi
Callicebus moloch

This sheet covers all species in the Callicebus moloch, Callicebus cupreus and Callicebus donacophilus groups


CITES: Appendix II (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: C. olallae, C. oenanthe, C. modestus: EN; C. ornatus: VU; C. aureipalatii, C. pallescens, C. moloch, C. hoffmannsi, C. dubius, C. donacophilus, C. discolor, C. cupreus, C. cinerascens, C. caligatus, C. brunneus, C. bernhardi, C. baptista: LC; C. stephennashi: DD (What is Red List?)
Key: EN = Endangered, EN = Endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, DD = Data deficient
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Callicebus brunneus
Callicebus brunneus
Photo: Kevin Schafer


Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation

As with other neotropical primates, deforestation and loss of habitat are profound threats to the survival of the titi monkey. In Brazil, the government's plan to pave, improve, and construct over 6000 km of roads will likely exacerbate deforestation by facilitating logging and forest fires, and moving many more people and potentially destructive activities into formerly remote areas (Nepstad et al. 2001). This pattern follows elsewhere in the titi range, where highway building or improvement in Bolivia, Peru and Brazil alike have also caused or have the potential to cause increased destruction of habitat (van Roosmalen et al. 2002; Mark 2003; Felton et al. 2006; Wallace et al. 2006). In Paraguay, deforestation is again the largest threat to endemic primates (Stallings 1985).

Deforestation due to agriculture poses a significant threat to titis, especially rice growing, which is typically undertaken near rivers and streams; habitats used by titis (Mark 2003). In Colombia, illegal coca farms are quite widespread and numerous, often located within titi habitats. While some efforts have been targeted at eliminating such illegal farms, these have lead to hostility with farmers, confounding conservation. Spraying to kill coca has also harmed the natural habitats near the farms (Defler et al. 2003). Coffee plantations utilize slash-and-burn clearing techniques and can completely destroy the forest habitats of titis. In addition, wood is the preferred building and fuel source, so even where fragmented forests remain, they are under threat of destruction to those ends (DeLuycker 2006). Governmental farming expansion programs and road expansion also threaten titis by encouraging human immigration to areas near titi habitats and result in a transition from traditional land use to more intensive agriculture and different settlement patterns which increase deforestation (Rengifo Ruiz 1994 cited in DeLuycker 2006; Rowe & Martinez 2003; DeLuycker 2006).

Sometimes, titi habitats are fragmented and surrounded by grazing lands. The results of this are mixed in relation to conservation however, as ranchers sometimes prevent hunting on their lands and it appears that titis are adaptable and are able to travel on the ground between forest fragments (Felton et al. 2006). In addition, some evidence points to the ability of some titis to thrive in disturbed habitats near human activities (van Roosmalen et al. 2002). This is not to say that fragmentation is not dangerous however, as fragmentation can prevent the establishment of new territories and reproductive opportunities by titis (DeLuycker 2006).

Petroleum prospecting and extraction in addition to other infrastructure development also threaten titi populations in formerly untouched areas as do potential hydroelectric projects (Defler et al. 2003; Rowe & Martinez 2003; Marsh 2004; Felton et al. 2006; Wallace et al. 2006).

It has been suggested that the creation of forest corridors connecting isolated forest remnants would be an effective means by which to help ensure the survival of titis (DeLuycker 2006). Conservation should also focus on the protection of populations in such fragments (Mark 2003). In addition, governmental reward systems designed to promote forest conservation and the establishment of such corridors would be a step in the right direction for titi conservation (DeLuycker 2006). It is estimated that to sustain a viable population of titis, a contiguous area of at a minimum 81 km² (31.3 mi²) is required (Stallings 1985). In some cases it is hard to enforce protective legislation however, due to civil unrest, drug activity, and insurgents, as is the case in some areas of Colombia (Defler et al. 2003).

Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)

Hunting is also a threat to titis, mostly for subsistence (Rowe & Martinez 2003). Often the take by indigenous populations is quite low and not a serious threat, as in Paraguay (Stallings 1985). However, the threat from over-hunting remains and hunting pressure on titis in some areas is quite intense (Rowe & Martinez 2003). Indeed, some populations have become extinct as a result of unchecked hunting (Felton et al. 2006).

Due to their small size, titis are also kept and commercially sold as pets, representing a potentially serious threat to their numbers (Kohlhaas 1988; Stallings 1985; Rowe & Martinez 2003). One captive family of titis captured in Peru was offered for sale at a price of less than $10 (Rowe & Martinez 2003).




Content last modified: December 19, 2007

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Gabriela de Luna.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2007 December 19. Primate Factsheets: Dusky titi (Callicebus moloch) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2018 December 12.