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Black Howler Monkey: Alouatta pigra
Population Trend: Decreasing
Belize’s primate populations are being pressured by increasing tropical forest clearance, forest fragmentation and capture of young animals for the illegal wildlife trade. Wildtracks and the Belize Forest Department are collaborating to end the illegal trade in endangered primates in Belize, and ensuring that, where possible, all confiscated animals are returned to the wild, as part of a successful primate reintroduction initiative in the North East Corridor.
In the last five years:
96 primates have entered the Wildtracks Rehabilitation Centre
49 Yucatan black howler monkeys have been successfully released back into the wild, with a further 21 in care pending their release dates in 2016 and 2017
11 Yucatan black howler monkey babies have been born in the wild by mid 2016 – and are thriving. The first for over 80 years.
Over the last five years, Belize has made great strides in addressing the internal illegal trade in primates. There is increasing national awareness of the legal protection of primates under the Wildlife Protection Act, with fewer illegal pets reported each year. The Primate Rehabilitation Center at Wildtracks accepts all rescued and confiscated primates, ensuring there is no barrier to confiscation in national efforts to end the trade in these two endangered species. It also accepts translocation primates – those marginalized in small forest fragments by increasing forest clearance for agriculture, and those that are pushed into urban areas as adjacent forests are cleared. These short-term residents are returned to safe release sites in the wild as fast as possible.
To date, 49 howler monkeys have been successfully released into the wild as well-bonded groups. In 2015, the first four wild babies were born to three of the reintroduced troops, and successfully reared through their first year. In the first six months of 2016, the number wild born babies increased to eleven - underscoring the success of this endangered species reintroduction.
GOAL: INCREASED VIABILITY OF GLOBALLY ENDANGERED PRIMATE SPECIES THROUGH NATIONAL CONSERVATION COLLABORATIONS, ADDRESSING THREATS AND STRENGTHENING REHABILITATION AND RELEASE BACK INTO THE FORESTS OF BELIZE.
By the end of 2020, Wildtracks has contributed effectively to the increased viability of the two endangered primate species in Belize.
By the end of 2020, Wildtracks has maintained and strengthened national and site level conservation strategies for increased viability.
By the end of 2018, Wildtracks has worked with its partners to maintain and strengthen the success rate of primate rehabilitation and release, contributing towards viable, sustainable wild populations.