Development & Aid, Environment, Tierramerica - Ecobrief

Ecobreves – BRAZIL: Researchers Preserve Genes of Threatened Amazon Monkeys

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 10 2012 (IPS) - Researchers at the Federal University of Pará in Brazil are collecting and storing genetic material from monkeys in the genus Saimiri, commonly known as squirrel monkeys, to prevent the extinction of a sub-species endemic to the Amazon rainforest. The black squirrel monkey (Saimiri vanzolinii) is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It lives within a range of about 870 km of rainforest in the center of the Amazon. This whole area is protected by the Mamirauá Institute, which estimates the monkey’s current population at about 45,000.

“These monkeys live in lowland areas near rivers, which makes them vulnerable to climate change,” biologist Fernanda Pozzan Paim told Tierramérica.

"If the water level of these rivers rises, the already reduced population could disappear. The samples we are taking will help to understand the reproductive cycle of this primate, to define strategies for its conservation, and in the future, to conduct in vitro fertilization,” she added.

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