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Black-Handed Spider Monkey

Coat color ranges from brown to black with the hands and feet usually being black. These monkeys may have lighter underparts and a hairless mask around their eyes. They have very long arms and legs as well as a prehensile tail.


Black-handed spider monkeys are found along both coasts of central Mexico south to northwestern Columbia. They inhabit rainforests, montane forests, semi-deciduous forests, and mangrove swamp forests.


Body length: 1-2 feet, Tail length: 2-2.75 feet. Weight: 16lbs

The Little Rock Zoo is home to 6 spider monkeys. All six are one big family, all related back to our eldest, Fuzzy. 

  • Spider monkeys get their name from their spider-like appearance when they hang by their tails from the bow of a tree. The tail even lacks hair on the underside so that the monkey can get a better grip on a branch while using both hands to gather fruit.
  • Spider monkeys don’t have thumbs on their hands.
  • Spider monkey troops are matriarchal, meaning the females play a leadership role
  • There are seven species of spider monkey, all of which are under threat of extinction.

Endangered. They are threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and they are hunted for food. Unfortunately, this species likes to travel in large group numbers and are rather noisy making them easy to find.

Conservation Actions:

A species survival plan has been put into place to help insure the survival of the species. Zoos are working together in this endeavor.

Geoffroy’s Tamarin

They are covered in black and brown fur except for an almost bare rump. It has a white, triangular section of fur on its head. The neck and tail (except the tip) are a mahogany red color.


Geoffroy’s tamarin is found from southeastern Costa Rica to northwestern Columbia. They inhabit shrubby, second growth forests staying in highly dense foliage.


Body length: 8-11.5in, Tail length: 12-15.5in. Weight: 0.8-1lb

The group will mob a predator if they feel threatened.

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. Their main threat is habitat loss which is caused by the decrease in secondary growth of forests.

Conservation Action:

Listed as CITES Appendix I. This species lives in many protected areas.


Goeldi’s Monkey

Goeldi’s marmosets are covered in dense black or brown hair with occasional white areas around the head and face. They have long hairs that form a mane that drapes from their neck and shoulders. Adults may have light colored rings on their tails.


They are found in southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil, and northern Bolivia. They live in the areas of the Amazon rainforest that has mixed forest and dense undergrowth.


Body length: 8-9in, Tail length: 10-12.5in. Weight: 1-2lbs.

  • They can leap 13ft horizontally in a single jump.
  • When frightened, they will arch their back and bristle their fur in order to appear larger and more frightening.

IUCN lists them as a vulnerable species. Habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade are the major threats they are facing.

Conservation Actions:

This species does well in captivity and a number of zoos, such as the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and the Brookfield Zoo, are involved in breeding programs.

Lesser Spot-Nosed Monkey

They are named for their white nasal spot and white cheeks and undersides against their black bodies.


These monkeys live in African forests from Guinea to Benin.


Social animals, they may live in groups between 20-30 monkeys. They are found in groups that consist of one male and several females with their young.

They have cheek pouches that they use to help carry their food.

Least Concern.

Conservation Action:

Listed on CITES Appendix II and on Class B of the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. This species lives in several protected areas.

Tufted Capuchin

They can vary in color and can be light brown, mustard yellow, or black. Their bellies and shoulders are lighter in color and they have black fur on the tops of their heads. Their ears have tufts of black fur on them which lends to their name. These Capuchins have a long and prehensile tail. Females are smaller than males.


They are found east of the Andes from Columbia to northern Argentina. They prefer moist subtropical and tropical forests, however, they have been found in dry, gallery, disturbed and secondary forests.


Weight: 3-11 lbs.

They are the only species of Capuchin that carry their tail in a tight coil.

Least Concern. Due to their reproductive style and adaptability with habitats their numbers have not decreased. However, White faced Capuchins are in danger due to the pet trade. Brown Capuchins are also hunted for their meat and are being captured as part of the pet trade. These are the monkeys most commonly known for being “organ grinders”.

Conservation Action:

Listed on CITES Appendix II. This species lives in many protected areas.

White-Fronted Marmoset

(Geoffroy’s Marmoset)

These small primates are only about 8 inches in length with dark blackish brown fur. They have gray and black bands on their tails and the adults have white foreheads, cheeks, temples, and throats; they also have black ear tufts in front of their ears. Juveniles do not have ear tufts of white features.


Geoffroy’s marmosets live in southeastern Brazil and prefer secondary lowlands, sub-montane forests, evergreen and semi-deciduous forests, forest edges, or dry forest patches.


Weight: 7-12oz.

These marmosets are highly preyed upon. Their predators include raptors, cats, and snakes.

Least Concern. However, habitat destruction is causing their numbers to drop. This species has also been captured for the pet trade industry. Due to deforestation, only about 1 to 5% of their former habitat remains.

Conservation Actions:

They inhabit several protected areas and their populations are not declining at an alarming rate.

White-Faced Saki

They exhibit sexual dimorphism with males being larger than females and also having black fur with a white face. Females have brownish gray fur with two lines on their face; females also have orange colored fur on their chest and abdomen. Both male and females have the same coloration but this changes when they reach four years of age. Their tails are not prehensile but they use them for balance as they jump from tree to tree.


They are found in Brazil, some parts of Venezuela, and parts of French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. Arboreal creatures, the white-faced saki lives in upland and lowland forests. They prefer areas abundant in fruit and with plenty of watering holes.


Weight: 4lbs.

They are very charismatic animals and this is being exploited in the pet trade.

Least Concern. The pet trade as well as being hunted for meat is a cause for concern for these monkeys. They do not reproduce quickly enough to replace those killed or captured.

Conservation Action:

Listed under CITES Appendix II.

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