The Magdalena Spider Monkey (Ateles hybridus) is a Neotropical primate species almost endemic to Colombia and listed as one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world, and unfortunately falls into the category of critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Historically it was widely distributed in the Magdalena river valley and the mountains bordering NE Colombia and NW Venezuela.
The IUCN publishes its Red Data list every two years, where the Magdalena Spider monkey now appears for the fifth time after being first included in 2004. View report.
In November 2003, with the support from the American Bird Conservancy and the Global Conservation Fund, ProAves established the El Paujil Bird Reserve located in the departments of Boyacá and Santander. The reserve has over 7,900 acres of primary forest, the natural habitat of the spider monkey, where, thanks to the implementation of conservation strategies, environmental education and research projects, hunting has been eliminated.
By permanent monitoring a recovery has been demonstrated, not only in population but also in range, which had declined in recent years due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier and selective logging. All this is possible thanks to the implementation of various programs of community inclusion among which highlight the annual reforestation with approximately 5000 plants associated with the monkey’s biology.
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ProAves, under its policy of inter-institutional cooperation, continues supporting academic institutions and NGOs to develop specific research on species of different orders that are endangered on its nature reserves. An example is Foundación Primates, led by Dr. Andres Link, who completed more than five years of study on the ecology of this species of primate. This cooperation between institutions and individuals seeks to dispel the specter of impending extinction, not only of the Magdalena Spider Monkey, but also of other species dependent on this fragile and important ecosystem.