Conservationists in Chester recently had reason to celebrate with a new arrival at the Zoo.
One of the most endangered primates in the world, a Sulawesi crested macaque monkey was born on May 16 to parents Mamassa and Rumple.
When in the wild, these charismatic primates encounter numerous threats that include illegal logging, habitat loss because of deforestation, hunting, and the growing expansion of farmland, along with the illegal pet trade. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the species as critically endangered.
Experts estimate that there are fewer than 5,000 of the charismatic species in their natural environment on the island of Sulawesi. In the past 30 years, the numbers have plummeted by approximately 80% but primate specialists agree that each birth in the world’s conservation zoos helps safeguard the rare species.
Head of Mammals at Chester Zoo, Mark Brayshaw, commented:
“Sulawesi crested macaques are highly sociable animals that live in large groups, and so the new baby is currently being passed around by mum Rumple to several other females, who are all sharing parenting duties, which is great to see.”
While the zoo’s breeding programme and conservation efforts aim to save the monkeys from extinction, they also present an opportunity to study their social structures, behaviour and biology, which can help to inform the global efforts to protect them globally.
Although the sex of the new arrival has yet to be determined, visitors to Chester will be able to see the Zoo’s latest edition in the months to come.