Madidi Titi Monkey

Madidi Monkey Photo
©Guido Ayala

The Madidi, or golden palace, is the newest of 30 species of titi monkeys, which are found only in South America. Discovered by WCS scientist Robert Wallace in western Bolivia's Madidi National Park in 2004, the monkey received its golden palace name “aureipalatii” after WCS auctioned the scientific naming rights for funds to protect its habitat. The golden palace is also called the Madidi titi monkey.

The Madidi titi is found in floodplain and piedmont forests where the Andes meet the Amazon, primarily within this protected area. The notably handsome monkey has orange-brown fur, a golden crown, a white tip to its tail, and dark red hands and feet.

Like other titis, they are monogamous, mating for life. Pairs are often seen clutching each other with tails entwined for hours on end in the high canopy of the forest. A pair maintains a territory against rival pairs primarily through persistent calls, and the male usually carries the infants until they can survive on their own.

Fast Facts

Scientific NameCallicebus aureipalatii
  • Madidi titi monkeys are small – only about 16 inches tall, but are striking due to their coloration.
  • These monkeys are primarily fruit eaters.
  • Among the locals in Madidi, the monkeys are called “Luca, Luca” because of the sounds they make.

Challenges

Madidi titi monkeys are sometimes hunted, occasionally for fish bait. But the biggest threat to biodiversity in this region is habitat loss within the Madidi landscape itself due to the advancing agricultural frontier,  the construction of new roads that fragment forests and provide access for unsustainable agriculture, illegal hunting, and new human settlements. Additionally, other large development projects such as dams and hydrocarbon exploration are planned in the region.

WCS Responds

Madidi National Park is considered one of the most biologically diverse protected areas in the world. Auctioning off the newly discovered titi monkey’s scientific name was a novel idea aimed at endowing a fund for the park. The Golden Palace online casino paid $650,000 to the Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegida (FUNDESNAP), a nonprofit established to support the Bolivian protected area system. These funds now guarantee the salary of 14 park guards.

WCS is working to protect the remarkable biodiversity of the entire Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape in Bolivia and Peru—home to more than 1,100 bird species, including Andean condors and military macaws, as well as giant otters, maned wolves, white-lipped peccaries, jaguars, and Andean bears. WCS leads scientific research in the landscape, builds local capacity for sustainable natural resource management, helps train park guards, and brings together indigenous groups and local, regional and
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