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šŸ‡¬šŸ‡§ The Naturalist Guide in the Field: Primate watching at MamirauĆ” Reserve

At Uakari Lodge we can observe five species of primates ā€“ among them the White uakari monkey, endemic to MamirauĆ”

Uakari Lodge | MamirauĆ” Reserve | Amazon Brazil

White uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus calvus)

Some guests who come to the Uakaro Lodge have a special interest in observing the primates and today we talk about them!

Birdwatching is an activity practiced for many decades by many people around the world ā€“ and another wildlife spotting that has shown the same trend is primate watching. Brazil has great potential to be one of the most coveted places by primate observers since it is the country that hosts the greatest biodiversity of species in this group, about 140, 92 of which are in the Amazon!

At the Ecotourism Zone of the MamirauĆ” Sustainable Development Reserve (where the Uakari Lodge tours take place), five primate species occur: Cacajao calvus calvus, Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri sciureus cassiquiarensis, Sapajus macrocephalus and Alouatta juara.

Uakari Lodge | MamirauĆ” Reserve | Amazon Brazil

Letā€™s start from the beginning, and for that we have to talk about Cacajao calvus calvus, or as we know it popularly: the White uakari monkey! Yes, the name of the lodge is a tribute to the animal that gave rise to the creation process of the MamirauĆ” Reserve. In 1983, primatologist JosĆ© MĆ”rcio Ayres arrived here at TefĆ© region to study for the first time the ecology and behaviour of this incredible primate that lives in flooded forests. The site chosen for the research was Lake MamirauĆ” (<3), which at that time was under great exploratory pressure (mainly due to the fishing resource).

During the study Ayres also described a new species of monkey: Saimiri vanzolinii, the Black Squirrel Monkey, which is the neotropical primate with the smallest area of ā€‹ā€‹distribution ā€“ it only occurs in approximately 870 kmĀ², contained within the Reserve MamirauĆ” (if you really want to see him your best option is to visit us ;). To continue his studies smoothly, protecting the two endemic monkeys and the environment that was being overexploited, Ayres and his fellow photographer Luiz Claudio Marigo proposed to the government the creation of a conservation unit in the area. Then the MamirauĆ” Ecological Station was created in 1990, a reserve of 1,124,000 hectares (the only one exclusively of Amazonian lowland) whose recategorization in 1996 gave rise to the first Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil: the MamirauĆ” Sustainable Development Reserve, a model that recognizes and contemplates the traditional peoples (indigenous and riverside) residents and is now widely replicated in other areas of the country.

Uakari Lodge | MamirauĆ” Reserve | Amazon Brazil

White uakari monkeyĀ (Cacajao calvus calvus)

Returning to the primates, on visits to Uakari Lodge, guests can also observe the cute and agile Humboldtā€™s Squirrel Monkey, (Saimiri sciureus cassiquiarensis), which some call a ā€˜Commonā€™ Humboldtā€™s Squirrel Monkey to differentiate from the Black Squirrel Monkey. (I donā€™t like any popular name that has the word ā€œcommonā€ since for me all animals are extraordinary!).

Uakari Lodge | MamirauĆ” Reserve | Amazon Brazil

JuruĆ” Red Howler Monkey (Alouatta juara)

There is also the possibility to find the clever Large-headed Capuchin Monkey, (Sapajus macrocephalus), which are omnivorous and have developed different techniques for obtaining and analysing food: from hitting fruits to evaluate their content by sound to using tools like a stick to find and open a nest alligator. To witness such behaviour is very interesting and makes us think about our own species and the relationship with this and other primates.

Last but not least, we have the sonorous JuruĆ” Red Howler Monkey, Alouatta juara, who only make the scary noise to avoid contact with other groups and are totally harmless and passionate.

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Credits (Text e images): Cynthia LebrĆ£o

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