The Buttonwood Park Zoo is celebrating the second birth of a Bolivian gray titi monkey (Callicebus donacophilus). The baby was born on December 19, 2018 to parents, Madeira and Crumpet. Baby’s gender is unknown at this time. Crumpet, 4 years-old, and Madeira, 10 years-old, became first-time parents back in 2017 with the birth of their first offspring. Biscuit, named by the Zoo’s social media followers, is now 1 ½ years-old. Biscuit has assumed his role as big brother and has started to carry his sibling from time to time. The baby is active and starting to explore the habitat more each day.
There are less than 55 Bolivian gray titi monkeys at 18 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions in North America. Bolivian gray titi monkeys weigh around two to three pounds as adults and have a lifespan of 20-25 years. They are diurnal, meaning active during the day, and are an arboreal species. Members of the group exhibit social bonding by sitting side by side and twining their tails. There is a strong bond between adult mating pairs; they stay close and carry out activities together, including infant care. The baby will remain on the back of one parent for several months; about 80% of that time will be with dad, Crumpet.
According to Zoo Director, Keith Lovett, “Since opening Rainforest, Rivers & Reefs in 2017, the Buttonwood Park Zoo has been actively involved in collaborative breeding programs based on maximizing the genetic diversity of New World primates, including titi monkeys. These programs, combined with efforts to conserve primate habitats in South America, are core to the Zoo’s mission of saving wildlife.”
The Bolivian gray titi monkeys join five other species of small South American primates inside Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs sponsored by Stoico/FIRSTFED. Opened in July 2017, Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs focuses on the conservation of endangered and threatened species from South America and the health of the world’s oceans while connecting guests with small, endangered primates from regions of South America and ocean dwelling species from around the world. Interpretive signage and on-site education inspires visitors to take small, tangible actions to reduce their impact on habitats and oceans, furthering the Zoo’s conservation mission to protect wildlife from extinction.
In the wild, this species is found in the tropical forests throughout central Bolivia and into Rondônia in eastern Brazil. Although their population in the wild is decreasing and agricultural activities have resulted in considerable habitat loss, Bolivian gray titi monkeys are reasonably tolerant of habitat disturbance and are adaptable to a variety of environments throughout its relatively wide range. Bolivian gray titi monkeys are listed as a species of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List.