Endangered monkeys

This List of Endangered Monkeys Highlights the Need for Conservation

We seldom think about monkeys when we talk about endangered animals, but one look at this list of endangered monkeys and you will be surprised to see the number of species that are fighting for their very existence on the planet.
A 'Critical' Situation
Of the 80 monkey species that are considered endangered, 28 are enlisted as critically endangered, meaning they face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
As many as 80 species of monkeys are threatened by extinction as of today, and yet, these primates fail to make it to the headlines like tigers or rhinos. To some extent, this can be attributed to the fact that there are numerous species (and subspecies) of monkeys. In fact, most people may not even be aware of the existence of some of these monkey species.

There are approximately 260 known species of monkeys in the world, which are classified into two groups: (i) New World monkeys, found in Central and South America and parts of Mexico, and (ii) Old World monkeys, found in Africa and Asia. While some species are found in abundance in their natural habitat, some are more often seen in the list of critically endangered and endangered species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
IUCN Classification
On the basis of the relative risk of extinction, the IUCN classifies threatened species into different categories.
  • Critically endangered species (CR): Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Endangered species (EN): Very high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Vulnerable (VU): High risk of extinction in the wild*
*The species enlisted as vulnerable are the ones that are likely to become endangered.

List of Endangered Monkeys
Barbary Macaque
Barbary Macaque - Endangered
Celebes Crested Macaque
Celebes Crested Macaque - Critically Endangered
Colombian Spider Monkey
Colombian Spider Monkey - Critically Endangered
Cotton-top Tamarin
Cotton-top Tamarin - Critically Endangered
Gees Golden Langur
Gee's Golden Langur - Endangered
Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
Geoffroy's Spider Monkey - Endangered
Golden-headed Lion Tamarin
Golden-headed Lion Tamarin - Endangered
zanzibar red colobus
Zanzibar Red Colobus - Endangered
Toque Macaque
Toque Macaque - Endangered
Red-shanked Douc
Red-shanked Douc - Endangered
Lion-tailed Macaque
Lion-tailed Macaque - Endangered
Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis Monkey - Endangered
CR: Critically Endangered

EN: Endangered
Species Scientific Name Range Status
Arunachal Macaque Macaca munzala Arunachal Pradesh, India
EN
Barbara Brown's Titi Callicebus barbarabrownae Caatinga, Brazil
CR
Barbary Macaque Macaca sylvanus Algeria, Morocco, and Gibraltar
EN
Black Bearded Saki Chiropotes satanas Brazilian Amazon
CR
Black Lion Tamarin Leontopithecus chrysopygus São Paulo, Brazil
EN
Black Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus bieti China
EN
Black-headed Spider Monkey Ateles fusciceps Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama
CR
Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nigripes Vietnam and Cambodia
EN
Blond Capuchin Cebus flavius Northeastern Brazil
CR
Brown Spider Monkey Ateles hybridus Colombia and Venezuela
CR
Buffy-headed Marmoset Callithrix flaviceps South-eastern Brazil
EN
Caquetá Titi Callicebus caquetensis Colombia
CR
Celebes Crested Macaque Macaca nigra Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia
CR
Coimbra Filho's Titi Callicebus coimbrai Bahia and Sergipe, Brazil
EN
Colombian Woolly Monkey Lagothrix lugens Colombia and Venezuela
CR
Cotton-top Tamarin Saguinus oedipus Northwestern Colombia
CR
Delacour's Langur Trachypithecus delacouri Vietnam
CR
Drill Mandrillus leucophaeus Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea
EN
Dryas Monkey Cercopithecus dryas Congo Basin
CR
François' Langur Trachypithecus francoisi Southwestern China to northeastern Vietnam
EN
Gee's Golden Langur Trachypithecus geei India (i.e., the state of Assam) and Bhutan
EN
Geoffroy's Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi Central America and Mexico
EN
Golden Lion Tamarin Leontopithecus rosalia Brazil
EN
Golden Monkey Cercopithecus kandti Central Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo
EN
Golden Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus roxellana Central and Southwest China
EN
Golden-bellied Capuchin Cebus xanthosternos Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia
CR
Golden-headed Lion Tamarin Leontopithecus chrysomelas Brazil
EN
Gray Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus brelichi China
EN
Gray Woolly Monkey Lagothrix cana Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru
EN
Gray-shanked Douc Pygathrix cinerea Vietnam
CR
Guatemalan Black Howler Alouatta pigra Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico
EN
Hatinh Langur Trachypithecus hatinhensis Vietnam
EN
Indochinese Lutung Trachypithecus germaini Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam
EN
Javan Surili Presbytis comata Western Java and Indonesia
EN
Kaapori Capuchin Cebus kaapori Brazil
CR
Kashmir Gray Langur Semnopithecus ajax Northern India and Nepal
EN
Kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji Tanzania
CR
Lion-tailed Macaque Macaca silenus Western Ghats in southern India
EN
Maranhão Red-Handed Howler Alouatta ululata Ceará, Maranhão, and Piauí in Brazil
EN
Mentawai Langur Presbytis potenziani Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
EN
Moor Macaque Macaca maura Sulawesi, Indonesia
EN
Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri Burma (Myanmar)
CR
Niger Delta Red Colobus Procolobus epieni Niger Delta
CR
Northern Muriqui Brachyteles hypoxanthus Brazil
CR
Ollala Brothers' Titi Callicebus olallae Bolivia
EN
Pagai Island Macaque Macaca pagensis Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
CR
Pennant's Colobus Procolobus pennantii Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo
CR
Peruvian Spider Monkey Ateles chamek Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia
EN
Phayre's Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus phayrei Southeast Asia
EN
Pied Tamarin Saguinus bicolor Brazilian Amazon
EN
Pig-tailed Langur Simias concolor Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
CR
Preuss's Monkey Cercopithecus preussi Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea
EN
Preuss's Red Colobus Procolobus preussi Cross-Sanaga River Ecoregion, West-central Africa
CR
Proboscis Monkey Nasalis larvatus Borneo, Southeast Asia
EN
Purple-faced Langur Semnopithecus vetulus Sri Lanka
EN
Red-shanked Douc Pygathrix nemaeus Vietnam and Laos
EN
Rio Beni Titi Callicebus modestus Bolivia
EN
Rio Mayo Titi Callicebus oenanthe Peru
CR
Roloway Monkey Cercopithecus roloway Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana
EN
Sanje Mangabey Cercocebus sanjei Tanzania
EN
Sarawak Surili Presbytis chrysomelas Borneo in Southeast Asia
CR
Shortridge's Langur Trachypithecus shortridgei Burma and China
EN
Southern Muriqui Brachyteles arachnoides Brazil
EN
Sumatran Surili Presbytis melalophos Sumatra, Indonesia
EN
Superagui Lion Tamarin Leontopithecus caissara Southeastern Brazil
CR
Tana River Mangabey Cercocebus galeritus Southeastern Kenya
EN
Thollon's Red Colobus Procolobus tholloni DR Congo and Republic of the Congo
EN
Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus avunculus Northern Vietnam
CR
Toque Macaque Macaca sinica Sri Lanka
EN
Ugandan Red Colobus Procolobus tephrosceles Uganda and Tanzania
EN
Uta Hick's Bearded Saki Chiropotes utahickae Brazil
EN
Uzungwa Red Colobus Procolobus gordonorum Tanzania
EN
Western Red Colobus Procolobus badius Western Africa
EN
White-cheeked Spider Monkey Ateles marginatus Brazil
EN
White-footed Tamarin Saguinus leucopus Colombia
EN
White-fronted Spider Monkey Ateles belzebuth Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil
EN
White-headed Langur Trachypithecus poliocephalus Vietnam and China
CR
White-nosed Saki Chiropotes albinasus Brazilian Amazon
EN
Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey Oreonax flavicauda Peru
CR
Zanzibar Red Colobus Procolobus kirkii Zanzibar Archipelago
EN
Vulnerable Species
Like we said earlier, those species that are likely to become endangered are classified as vulnerable species. Sadly, the list of vulnerable monkeys is nearly as long as that of the endangered species. So, if proper conservation measures are not implemented at the earliest, the list of endangered species will become twice as long in the near future.
Species Scientific Name Range
Aracá Uakari Cacajao ayresii Northwest Brazilian Amazon
Atlantic Titi Callicebus personatus Brazil
Bald Uakari Cacajao calvus Brazil and Peru
Bale Mountains Vervet Chlorocebus djamdjamensis Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Black Colobus Colobus satanas Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon
Black Tamarin Saguinus niger Brazil
Black-footed Gray Langur Semnopithecus hypoleucos Southern India
Booted Macaque Macaca ochreata Sulawesi Island, Indonesia
Brown Woolly Monkey Lagothrix lagotricha Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil
Brumback's Night Monkey Aotus brumbacki Colombia
Buffy-tufted Marmoset Callithrix aurita Southeast Brazil
Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, and Myanmar
Central American Squirrel Monkey Saimiri oerstedii Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama
Coastal Black-handed Titi Callicebus melanochir Brazil
Coiba Island Howler Alouatta coibensis Panama
Collared Mangabey Cercocebus torquatus Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon
Colombian Black-handed Titi Callicebus medemi Colombia
Diana Monkey Cercopithecus diana Sierra Leone to Ivory Coast in Africa
Goeldi's Marmoset Callimico goeldii Amazon Basin (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru)
Gorontalo Macaque Macaca nigrescens Sulawesi Island, Indonesia
Gray-bellied Night Monkey Aotus lemurinus Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, and Panama
Gray-handed Night Monkey Aotus griseimembra Colombia and Venezuela
Hamlyn's Monkey Cercopithecus hamlyni Congo
Heck's Macaque Macaca hecki Sulawesi, Indonesia
Hose's Langur Presbytis hosei Borneo in Southeast Asia
Javan Lutung Trachypithecus auratus Java, Indonesia
King Colobus Colobus polykomos Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
L'Hoest's Monkey Cercopithecus lhoesti Congo Basin
Laotian Langur Trachypithecus laotum Laos
Mandrill Mandrillus sphinx Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo
Natuna Island Surili Presbytis natunae Natuna Besar Island, Indonesia
Neblina Uakari Cacajao hosomi Amazon Rainforests of Brazil and Venezuela
Nilgiri Langur Trachypithecus johnii Nilgiri Hills, South India
Northern Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca leonina Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam
Ornate Titi Callicebus ornatus Colombia
Peruvian Night Monkey Aotus miconax Peru
Red-eared Guenon Cercopithecus erythrotis Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria
Red-faced Spider Monkey Ateles paniscus Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana
Red-handed Howler Alouatta belzebul Southeastern Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Roosmalens' Dwarf Marmoset Callibella humilis Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Sclater's Guenon Cercopithecus sclateri Southern Nigeria
Siberut Macaque Macaca siberu Siberut Island, Indonesia
Silvery Woolly Monkey Lagothrix poeppigii Brazil, Ecuador and Peru
Sooty Mangabey Cercocebus atys Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone
Southern Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bangka Island (Southeast Asia)
Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides South Asia
Sun-tailed Monkey Cercopithecus solatus Gabon
Thomas's Langur Presbytis thomasi North Sumatra, Indonesia
Tonkean Black Macaque Macaca tonkeana Sulawesi Island, Indonesia
Ursine Colobus Colobus vellerosus Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and Burkina Faso
White Marmoset Mico leucippe Brazil
White-footed Saki Pithecia albicans Brazil
White-fronted Surili Presbytis frontata Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei
White-throated Guenon Cercopithecus erythrogaster Rainforests of Nigeria and Benin
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Why Are Monkeys Endangered?
Of late, environmentalists have noticed that the population of quite a few species is on a decline. What is more disturbing is the rate at which their number has been declining over the last decade or so. In most cases, the decline can be primarily attributed to the following factors.
Excessive Hunting
Several monkey species, including the Roloway and Pennant's Red Colobus found in Africa, are excessively hunted for their meat. On the other hand, species like the Miss Waldron's Red Colobus and Mt. Uarges Guereza―a subspecies of Mantled Guereza―are hunted extensively for their skin, which has a great demand in the international market.
Loss of Habitat
Human encroachment has resulted in destruction of habitat for several monkey species. Illegal logging, land clearance for agriculture, expanding human settlements, and other such factors are causing their natural habitat to deplete at an alarming rate. While habitat loss leaves them homeless and vulnerable, fragmentation of habitat makes it difficult for them to breed.
Other Factors
It may come as a surprise, but the practice of killing monkeys for the use of their various body parts in traditional medicine continues unabated even today. Also on rise is the practice of keeping them as pets. In a bid to capture these monkeys for pet trade, hunters use snares, which leave them injured―if not trapped, eventually resulting in their death.
Going by the rate at which this list is growing, it wouldn't be long before we witness many more extinctions. If the aforementioned factors responsible for the decline in monkey population are not curbed soon, these species, which feature in the endangered monkeys list as of today, will soon be added to the list of the extinct animals, thus leaving the planet devoid of some of the most interesting members of kingdom Animalia.