The Peruvian night monkey (Aotus miconax) is one of the world’s least known primates, having never been studied in the wild; until now. Found only in the cloud forests of northern Peru, a group of scientists with Neotropical Primate Conservation and the National University of Mayor San Marcos have spent 12 months following a single group of this enigmatic monkey species in a small forest patch. The results of their research, published in mongabay.com’s open access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, shows that protecting forests, even small forest fragments, is vital to the species’ survival.
The researchers found that the species is capable of surviving in highly-fragmented forests, which is helpful to the monkeys living in agricultural and populated regions of Peru. A studied family of six occupied a single forest fragment only three-and-a-half acres large. There are currently eleven night monkey species known in South America, which make up the Aotus genus. They are the world’s only truly nocturnal monkeys.