NEW YORK (JULY 7, 2009) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today the discovery of a new monkey in a remote region of the Amazon in Brazil.
The monkey is related to saddleback tamarins, which include several species of monkeys known for their distinctively marked backs. The newly described distinct subspecies was first seen by scientists on a 2007 expedition into the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil.
The discovery was published in the June online edition of the International Journal of Primatology. Authors of the study include Fabio Rhe of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Jos de Sousa e Silva Jr. of Museu Paraense Emlio Goeldi, Ricardo Sampaio of the Instituto Nacional de Parquisas de Amaoznia, and Anthony B. Rylands of Conservation International.
Researchers have dubbed the monkey Mura's saddleback tamarin (saguinus fuscicollis mura) named after the Mura Indians, the ethnic group of Amerindians of the Purus and Madeira river basins where the monkey occurs. Historically this tribe was spread through the largest territory of any of the Amazonian Indigenous peoples, extending from the Peruvian frontier today (Rio Yavari) east to the Rio Trombetas.
The monkey is mostly gray and dark brown in color, with a distinctly mottled "saddle." It weighs 213 grams (less than of a pound) and is 240 millimeters (9 inches tall) with a 320 millimeter (12.6 inch) tail.
"The Wildlife Conservation Society is extremely proud to be part of this exciting discovery in the Amazon," said Dr. Avecita Chicchon, Director of WCS's Latin America Programs. "We hope that the discovery will draw attention to conservation in this very fragile but biodiverse region."
According to the study's authors, the monkey is threatened by several planned development projects in the region, particularly a major highway cutting through the Amazon that is currently being paved. Conservationists fear the highway could fuel wider defores
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Wildlife Conservation Society