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Owl monkey


CITES: Appendix II (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: A. hershkovitzi, A. lemurinus, A. miconax: VU; A. azarae, A. nancymaae, A. nigriceps, A. trivirgatus, A. vociferans: LC (What is Red List?)
Key: VU = Vulnerable, VU = Vulnerable, VU = Vulnerable, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern, LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Aotus azarae boliviensis
Photo: Rosie Bolen

The majority of Aotus species are widespread and abundant and are not threatened by extinction, but some have an increased or very high risk of extinction. Those species that are of concern are threatened in Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru, mostly because of rapid rates of habitat destruction in these countries and existing subpopulations with few mature adults. The problem is even further compounded by the fact that the taxonomy of the entire genus is debated and not fully understood. Geographical distributions of each species in Colombia need to be ascertained according to one taxonomic model before assigning conservation status to each species (Defler et al. 2003). Censuses and research on distribution are necessary for the species in Colombia and Panama as their abundance is not well understood. What is known about the habitats in which they live is that human habitat use is increasing as civil unrest plagues the country and there are no areas of enforced protection (Defler et al. 2003). Categorization by the IUCN, given the apparent lack of published data on conservation issues, general biology, and ecology of some of these species, is undertaken by the Primate Specialist Group, a panel of primate experts compiled to assess and evaluate the conservation status of all species of primates. These experts meet to assess the status of primates worldwide and the resulting classification is often the result of the judgment of an individual Specialist Group member, not because there is widespread information about the species (Hilton-Taylor 2000). The status of Aotus is a good example of how classification is assigned in the most prudent way possible by the Primate Specialist Group even in the absence of species-specific data.





Content last modified: July 18, 2005

Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang. Reviewed by Eduardo Fernandez-Duque.

Cite this page as:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2005 July 18. Primate Factsheets: Owl monkey (Aotus) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2019 September 18.