Yellow-tailed woolly monkey

Earned a distinguished spot in the unfortunate ‘endangered elite’: world’s top 25 most endangered primates


Earned a distinguished spot in the unfortunate ‘endangered elite’: world’s top 25 most endangered primates

Population < 250
> 80% suspected decline in population

An enigmatic primate that is a hidden gem nestled within the cloud-covered peaks of the Peruvian Andes. This species, known only to the dense and remote montane forests of Peru, captivates with its vibrant golden tail and dense fur, which ranges in color from shades of grey to deep brown. This dense fur not only camouflages them within their mist-shrouded habitat but also serves as vital insulation against the brisk mountain air, showcasing a remarkable adaptation to their high-altitude environment.

Characterized by their exceptional arboreal agility, Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkeys exhibit unparalleled climbing skills that are a sight to behold. Their strong, muscular limbs and an extraordinarily long prehensile tail act as fifth limb, allowing for a level of maneuverability that enables them to navigate the complex vertical landscape of the Andean cloud forests with ease. This prehensile tail is not only used for gripping branches but also aids in balancing as they perform breathtaking leaps across the forest canopy, embodying the very essence of grace and strength.

The diet of the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey is as diverse as the ecosystem they inhabit. These monkeys are primarily herbivorous, relying on a diet rich in leaves, fruits, and flowers. This varied diet underscores their role as crucial agents in their ecosystem, participating in seed dispersal and contributing to the health and regeneration of their cloud forest home. Their feeding habits, which often involve foraging high in the trees, highlight their intricate relationship with the forest, where each element is interconnected.

Despite their beauty and ecological significance, the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey faces the threat of extinction, primarily due to habitat destruction and fragmentation. The expansion of agriculture, logging, and human settlement into their mountainous territories has led to a dramatic reduction in their habitat, placing these primates in peril.


Population est.
< 250
Official estimate

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No