The Kalu Yala Blog

Are We Going To See Monkeys at Kalu Yala?!

August 23, 2010

by Kimberly Kyle Hall
Posted In: Adventures in the Tropics

Today we’re leaving for a group camping trip at Kalu Yala. Over the years, the number one question I get asked by newcomers is, “Are we going to see monkeys?!” The answer is that if you know the right place to look, and listen, there are some pretty good spots.

During my last two hiking trips I’ve seen Howler monkey families of them in the trees, with their young, overhanging the river. Of course I didn’t have my camera on me, not even my iPhone! Laura and I were able to get this great video of a local boy just outside Kalu Yala with his pet mono titi baby named Mindy.

Our two most prevalent monkeys at Kalu Yala are the howler monkey and the mono titi.

The MONO TITI: aka the Central American Squirrel Monkey. The mono titi is found in Costa Rica and Panama. Mono titis are small omnivores with white and black faces and orange-brownish backs. Like other primates, they live in groups. This species is one of the most egalitarian of all primates- neither male or female monkeys run the show- only during mating season. Research shows they live in groups of 20-75 monkeys, but every time I’ve seen them in Panama there have only been about 4-5 of them in group moving through the trees. Interestingly enough, the mono titi’s ideal habitat is secondary forest or primary forest that has been partially logged; they need low-level vegetation. Many primary forests have extremely tall trees whose canopy’s block out too much sun to let lower level vegetation grow very dense. There is controversy as to whether the mono titis in Panama are endangered like the sub-species in Costa Rica.

Here are some shots I took of a mono titi family earlier this year at Jimmy’s house on Ancon Hill:

Mono Titi Cerro Ancon Panama 2

Mono Titi Cerro Ancon Panama 3

Mono Titi Cerro Ancon Panama 4

Mono Titi Cerro Ancon Panama 1

I don’t think I will be able to get as close to the Howlers as I did in these pics, but perhaps we can still get some good shots.

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