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Volunteers make strides in Peruvian spider monkey release project

A baby spider monkey wearing a radio collar tracking device swings from branches after being released into the wild at Projects Abroad conservation project in Taricaya Ecological Reserve, Peru

Conservation volunteers in Peru are making exciting progress in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, with the reintroduction of the Peruvian spider monkey (Ateles chamek) into the wild. Based in the Taricaya Ecological Reserve, Projects Abroad volunteers are tasked with restoring and preserving one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

The Peruvian spider monkey is a threatened species due to human exploitation, such as hunting for bushmeat, the pet trade and habitat loss. The primate was locally extinct, but after many years of research and dedication, volunteers at Taricaya have been able to release four troops of these monkeys back into the wild, making this project a resounding success.

Tracking the success of spider monkey reintroduction into Taricaya

Volunteers monitor the released monkeys with radio collars and telemetry equipment, allowing them to follow the animals’ progress over the years and when necessary, provide assistance to injured individuals or those in poor health. The majority of tracking has shown that the Peruvian spider monkeys are now totally at home in an area they used to inhabit over 50 years ago.

To make this success even sweeter, a third baby monkey has now been born into the wild, proving that the work being done by our Conservation volunteers is making a real and sustainable difference in Taricaya. We are excited to hear that last year’s babies are also growing and thriving in the troop.

Projects Abroad Peru leads the way in primate rehabilitation efforts

A baby spider monkey is raised before being released into the wild at Projects Abroad conservation project in Taricaya Ecological Reserve, Peru

Testament to the success of the project, our Peru volunteers have been contacted by people from all over Latin America for advice on how to implement similar programmes with other large primate species in their countries. In order to address these questions, Projects Abroad held a five-day course at Taricaya, where volunteers presented their work both in the rescue centre and in the field. Biologists came from countries such as Belize, Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador to learn from our staff and volunteers and to see if they are able to implement similar release projects in their respective regions.

We are hugely proud that our volunteers are pioneering such an important project and are at the forefront of conservation efforts in the Amazon Rainforest.

Read more about other Projects Abroad Conservation project updates from Peru.

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