Goeldi’s monkey (Callimico goeldii)

Also known as: Goeldi’s marmoset, Goeldi’s tamarin
French: Tamarin De Goeldi, Tamarin Sauteur
Spanish: Chichilo, Marimonito, Mico-de-goeldii, Mono Goeldi, Mono Negro, Pichico Negro, Tití De Goeldi
GenusCallimico (1)
SizeHead-and-body length: 19 - 23 cm (2)
Tail length: 25.5 - 32.4 cm (3)
Weight350 - 550 g (2)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix I of CITES (4).

Goeldi’s monkey is a small, rare inhabitant of the Amazon (5). Adults are blackish brown with thick, soft hair and a mane draping from the neck and the shoulders (3). When threatened, Goeldi’s monkey takes an arched posture and raises its bristles in defence to look larger (5). The head and dorsal surface may be spotted with white flecks, and the tail may have two or three light coloured rings at the base. Juveniles are similar in appearance, though they lack these tail rings and the draping mane around the neck and shoulders (5).

Occurs in the upper Amazonian rainforests of southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil, and northern Bolivia (3).

This species inhabits dense, scrubby undergrowth, especially upland bamboo forests, and so populations exist in patches of suitable vegetation that may be isolated by several kilometres (5).

This monkey lives either in monogamous pairs or in multi-male / multi-female groups of up to 10 (2). Mating occurs during the wet season from September to November in the wild. Females are polyoestrous and have a gestation period of between 145-152 days (3) (2). Single young are usually produced and females have been known to give birth two times a year (5). The mother cares for the infant for the first 10-20 days of its life though after this other members of the group assist in caring for it (3). After seven weeks the juvenile is able to move and forage by itself and sexual maturity is reached at 18-24 months (3).

The diet includes fruits, insects, fungi and some vertebrates (2). It usually forages in the understory of the forest, though it will occasionally travel to the forest floor or higher in the trees to feed (3). Goeldi’s monkey moves with agility through the forest on all fours and is able to leap distances of up to four metres between branches, which is quite spectacular for such a small monkey (3) (5).

This monkey is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Redlist as it exists in widely separated and localised populations (1). Though there is little chance of it becoming extinct in the near future it could become threatened very quickly should the areas in which it occurs be developed as logging sites or agricultural land (1).

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has listed this species on Appendix I, prohibiting its international trade. However, since Goeldi’s monkey is rare, its value on the international black market is increasing (4). Sadly, there is little protection of this species in its natural habitat across its range. In Colombia it has been seen in only six sites, of which only two are in National Parks (6). Should the other four sites prove to be attractive for human development or colonisation, this species is likely to become threatened. A first step for the conservation of Goeldi’s monkey is therefore to ascertain this species’ precise range, population locations and numbers (6). Since this species is naturally rare and dependant on a specialised habitat it will be important to take proactive steps to protect it as parts of its range may soon come under development (3).

For further information on this species see:

Walker’s Mammals of the World:

Defler, T., Rodriguez, J.V. & Hernandez-Camacho, J.I. (2003) Conservation Priorities for Colombian Primates. Primate Conservation. 19: 10-18.

Authenticated (05/03/2006) by Matt Richardson, independent primatologist and writer.

  1. IUCN Redlist 2003 (January, 2004)
  2. Richardson, M. (2006) Pers. comm.
  3. Walker’s Mammals of the World (January, 2004)
  4. CITES (January, 2004)
  5. Macdonald, D. (2001) The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  6. Defler, T., Rodriguez, J.V. and Hernandez-Camacho, J.I. (2003) Conservation Priorities for Colombian Primates. Primate Conservation, 19: 10 - 18.