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Titi Conservation Alliance – August 2017

Titi monkeyThe Titi Conservation Alliance was started in 2001 by a group of business owners within the tourist industry based around Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. Recognizing the need for conservation of their natural environment to maintain prosperity of the local economy, this group of entrepreneurs began the Titi Conservation Alliance with the mission of promoting sustainable development and conserving the biodiversity of Manuel Antonio. The organization’s work has been essential for the preservation of the endangered Titi monkey.

The mono tití, or the grey crowned red-backed squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus), is the smallest primate in Costa Rica. This subspecies is only found in and around Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. They have been listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN Red List since 1996. According to a study in 2006 by the University of Florida anthropologist Sue Boinski, approximately 1,500 individuals of this subspecies and 4,000 individuals of the species on the whole, remained in the area at that time. That’s down from a population estimated at 200,000 in 1983!

Mother and baby Titi monkeysThe conservation status of the grey-crowned squirrel monkey Saimiri oerstedi citrinellus was last assessed in 2008, at which time the subspecies was listed as Endangered due to its small range (~3,500 km² extent of occurrence), severe fragmentation, and continuing loss of habitat. The national primate experts believe there are 2.000 individuals, all in the Central Pacific area of Costa Rica. The other subspecies, Saimiri oerstedii oerstedii, whose habitat extends to Central America, is currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.

The squirrel monkeys’ fall from a status of Critically Endangered to Endangered is a positive sign, displaying the real, tangible results of research and conservation efforts already in place. Now, it is up to us all to continue this work, and ensure the titis’ continued rise out of the danger of extinction.

At the Titi Conservation Alliance, we promise to continue to preserve and protect this peaceful primate. We hope that you will join us in this fight by supporting our reforestation and education programs! For more information and updates from the Alliance, check out our Facebook page and website at monotiti.org.

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