Muriquis Brachyteles arachnoids
Oneof the current world’s leading endangered primate is the muriqui ofgenus Brachytes Spix, specific name Brachytelesarachnoides,and common names are Southern Muriqui, Southern Woolly, or SpiderMonkey (Strier 235). The primate is widespread in the Atlantic Forestof Brazil where forest destruction is rampant and human practicesthat are unfriendly to wildlife are intense. It is one of the mostendangered in the universe, with roughly 12 percent of its originalhabitat scattered amongst fragments that differ in size. Brachytelesarachnoidesreceive threats because of habitat loss, as well as poaching. Inspite of prohibitions, hunting is still common in the region, leadingto the classification of the species as Endangered. The historicalgeographic distribution of Brachytelesarachnoidescomprises of Rio de Janeiro and Parana in addition to Sao Paulo.Therefore, the paper examines Muriquis Brachytelesarachnoidsto appreciate its physical status, reproduction, geographicdistribution, nutrition, reasons for decline, and action embraced torecover the species.
PhysicalDescription of the Species
Brachytelesarachnoidesis the biggest Southern American monkey, with males weighing up tobetween 12 to 15 kilograms, while females’ weight range between 9.5to 12 kg. The male’s body length from the head is between 55 to 78centimeters while that for females range from 46 to 63 cm. The tailis about the same length, that is, male tail length is 74 to 80centimeters while the female’s tail length is roughly 65 to 74 cm(Strier 239-240). For that reason, when the species hang either bytail or arms, they become approximately one point five meters inlength. The lengthy tails assist the species to survival in a denseforest. Due to swinging behavior of their locomotion, they havereduced thumb size. Both male and female have projecting stomachs. Inaddition, the fur is gray in color apart from their faces that appearas enclosed by soot also, the areas neighboring the sexual organsappears reddish compared with the remaining part of the physique.Correspondingly, Brachytelesarachnoideshave relatively exposed genitals the males have bigger sexual organswhile a she species have an elongated clitoris (Oliveiraand Carlos 113).
ReproductiveInformation of the Species and Number of Mates
Strierand Sérgio determined that there is no much competition amongst themales for mating opportunities (241). Instead, the male always queuefor an occasion to breed with an interested female. However, allsexes have several sexual companions. The female Brachytelesarachnoideshave many selections in various primate classes due to slight sexdimorphism amongst the females. Similarly, females decide what groupof males to team up with in case they away from their age groupspromptly after attain adolescence age (six years) (Strier and Sérgio241). The actual age of sexual maturity is approximately 5.5 to 11years for male and 6 to 11 years for females. Additionally, theircourtship ritual is extremely aggressive, i.e. there exist veryminimal violence amongst the males, because of their extremetolerance of one another. (Strier 245). Strier and Sérgio emphasizedthat immediately after mating, the gestation period takes about 7 to8 1/2 months. Also, the mother produces one offspring during a dryperiod, i.e. between May and September (244).
SpeciesFood, Energy Gaining, and Means of Keeping Hydrated
Brachytelesarachnoidesmostly feed on flowers, leaves, fruits, flowers, and a few species ofseeds (Amexia-bicha, Inga, Bicuiba, as well as Jatoba seeds). Thespecies take a greater percentage of their eating fruits when it isavailable to obtain enough water. Similarly, leaves are thesignificant source of energy for the species throughout the yearthey consume leaves regularly all through the year to add bulk totheir diet (Strier and Sérgio 247).
Biomesand Specific Habitats Used by the Species and Shelter
MuriquisBrachyteles arachnoidesprefers mature and evergreen as well as delicious coastal plains ofAtlantic forest in Brazil, particularly the submontane and montaneenduring green tropical forestry along the Atlantic Coastline ofBrazil (IUCN). Additionally, spends a greater percentage of its timein the canopy for shelter. On the other hand, they are quiteresilient in spite of their endangered nature. For instance, theywill move to the ground immediately openings exist inside the shade(canopy) to gain more shelter (Oliveiraand Carlos 114).
SpecificGeographic Location of the Species before it Became Endangered
Thehistorical of Brachytelesarachnoidesis traced from several states in Brazil (IUCN). To be exact, theoriginal geographic area of the species extended from the Southernsection of the state of Bahia to Southern Sao Paulo (25 degreesSouth), comprising “Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Sao Paulo, andMinas Gerais.” Therefore, Brazilian Atlantic coastal forest was anoutstanding species diversity which depicted a greater level ofendemism before the destruction of forest (DiFiore 495).Furthermore, the species prefers a habitat of primary and secondaryforest of 600 to 1800 above sea level (IUCN).
SpecificGeographic Locations of the Species as it is Today
Today,Brachytelesarachnoidesstill exist in the previously outlined states however, they are muchmore restricted and fragmented. In other words, the species is set upin preserved remnants of periodic and evergreen forested areas in SaoPaulo, Parana and or Rio de Janeiro. The presence ofBrachyteles arachnoidesin Parana state was affirmed by Oliveira and Carlos, who furtheroutlined that the range extends Southwards beyond the Rio Ribeirointo the Northern part of the Parana state (117). On the other hand,IUCN clarified that the current flagship species is located inmontane preserved forest of the Serra de Paranapiacaba.
Reasonsfor Species Decline in Number
Coles,Phyllis and Mauricio Talebideclared that the Muriquis are at jeopardy of extinction all throughtheir geographical distribution, primarily because of the destructionof forests (109). The extensive forest destruction for timbers,farming, livestock rearing, and infrastructure projects e.g. roadsand dams impact the species population in their habitats, leading todemographic and or genetic consequences such as inbreeding (DiFiore 506) Theremaining muriquis’ forest areas are below 7 percent leading tolocality fragmentation.The species are exposed to hunting, basically for human consumption,sports and or for a cultural trait as introduced due to Sao PauloState’s (Brazil) colonization by Europeans. Based on the mentionedreasons,Brachyteles arachnoidespopulations have dropped critically with an estimation that thereexist less than 1500 Muriquis at present left in the wild Muriquispecies have suffered decrease more than 80 percent of the previouspopulation over the past sixty years (IUCN). Lastly, the species havea low reproduction rate and lasting life cycle, which mystifies therecovery of populations after an increase in their susceptibility toextinction (Oliveira and Carlos 115).
SpecificActions Implemented to Recover Species
Tocurb the extinction ofBrachyteles arachnoids,different strategies have been set. First, various long-term researchsites have been established to ensure constant research practices inSao Paulo areas to establish a proper management plan. Second, acaptive breeding program for the species is embraced to fasten thelow breeding rate of the species. However, the breeding has not beenfruitful because of the small level of reproduction and poor newbornsurvival (IUCN). The third strategy entails raising awareness of theimportance of combating the species hunting through intelligentservices in areas prone to hunting pressures. Lastly, the generationof integrated protection of Protected Conservation Areas, as well asPrivate Reserves of Natural Heritage, embraces managing activities inregards to Brachyteles arachnoides conservation (Di Fiore 507).
Withthe increasing infrastructure development and human population, manyforests will experience destruction. Therefore, Muriquis willcontinue to reduce in number across the world despite prohibition ofhunting the species. As a result, a comprehensive research is neededto maintain demographic and population of the species because it isessential to determine the population localities and then strategizeon how to isolate them via strategically designed corridors. For thatreason, states such as Parana, along with environment and stateauthorities, need to implement a population monitoring program whilecreating legally protected areas.
Coles,Rebecca C., Phyllis, C. Lee, and Mauricio Talebi. "Fission–fusiondynamics in southern muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoides) in continuousBrazilian Atlantic forest." InternationalJournal of Primatology 33.1(2012): 93-114.
DiFiore, Anthony. "The rise and fall of a genus: Complete mtDNAgenomes shed light on the phylogenetic position of yellow-tailedwoolly monkeys, Lagothrix flavicauda, and on the evolutionary historyof the family Atelidae (Primates: Platyrrhini)." Molecularphylogenetics and evolution 82(2015): 495-510.
IUCN."Brachyteles Arachnoides (Muriqui, Southern Muriqui, SouthernWoolly Spider Monkey, Woolly Spider Monkey)". Iucnredlist.org.N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Oliveira,Leonardo C., and Carlos, Eduardo Viveiros Grelle. "Introducedprimate species of an Atlantic Forest region in Brazil: present andfuture implications for the native fauna." TropicalConservation Science 5.1(2012): 112-120.
Strier,Karen B. "Northern Muriqui Monkeys: Behavior, Demography, andConservation." Primatesand Cetaceans.Japan: Springer, 2014. Print.
Strier,Karen B., and Sérgio, L. Mendes. "The Northern Muriqui(Brachyteles hypoxanthus): lessons on behavioral plasticity andpopulation dynamics from a critically endangered species." Long-termfield studies of primates.Berlin: Springer, 2012. Print.
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