Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 25th, 2011
Scientists on an expedition backed by WWF-Brazil to one of the last unexplored areas in the Brazilian Midwest have discovered a new species of monkey.
The monkey belonging to the Callicebus genus was found in the northwest of Mato Grosso State and is one of the great results from the studies undertaken during an expedition in December 2010 to the Guariba-Roosevelt Extractive Reserve.
These types of monkeys are commonly called Titi. Above a titi is compared to a squirrel monkey by artist Jan Dungel.
In May, WWF-Brazil and the scientist who made the discovery, Julio Dalponte, officially handed over the specimen to the Emílio Goeldi Museum in Belem, Para.
“By integrating this animal to a reputable collection such as that of the Goeldi museum we have taken an important step towards gaining better knowledge of the fauna in the northwest Mato Grosso region which is still a puzzle with many pieces missing”, Mr Dalponte explained.
Dalponte remarked that the discovery of the new species increases the potential biodiversity of the northwest of Mato Grosso and with it the importance of conservation in the area.
“We do have some information on Protected Areas surrounding this region but little information on this part of the State itself. That means we must work to complete this map and fill in the gaps in our information on the region” said Dalponte.
“Never been observed before”
The primate specimen was found in an area between the courses of the Guariba River and the Roosevelt River, two of the most important water courses in the north-western part of Mato Grosso state.
Dalponte noted “This primate has features on its head and tail that have never been observed before in other titi monkey species found in the same area”.
The animal will be the object of studies designed to provide a detailed description of its characteristics to mammalian zoology experts and primatologists worldwide.
The study of the species will take about six months to conclude. The process of publishing the discovery in specialised scientific journals can take up to one year from the time the papers are submitted till the time they are approved for publication by the editing committees of scientific journals and reviews.
Photo Julio Dalponte.