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There are literally dozens of types of endangered monkeys, although many of them are not well known by the general population. Of the approximately 264 species of monkeys found in the wild today, about 52 are labeled as endangered or critically endangered on the Worldwide Endangered Species List. In order to be endangered, an animal must be dwindling in numbers rapidly enough to threaten extinction.
The main reason for so many types of endangered monkeys being listed is that hunters sometimes trap and kill these species for their meat or fur. In addition, many of their habitats are being destroyed by a growing human population. Although these practices have been outlawed in many areas because these animals are considered in danger of extinction, hunting and expansion still continue in other parts of the world. Other monkeys are endangered because of illness, as certain types are especially prone to viruses and other infections.
One of the types of endangered monkeys is the Long-haired Spider Monkey. This is one of many classes of spider monkey that is on the endangered species list. The Long-haired Spider Monkey has slender arms and legs and a long tail which is used for climbing and balancing in trees. The main threats to its habitat are the destruction of the forests and hunting for its meat. Other types of endangered monkeys are the Red-handed Howler Monkey, Sclater's Guenon, Muriqui, Ollala Brothers' Titi Monkey, and the Black Squirrel Monkey.
The Red Handed Howler Monkey is native to Brazil and is a type of New World Monkey, which means it has a hairy face, long tail, and wide-set nostrils. The mariqui, also known as the Black Headed Spider Monkey, is also from Brazil. The Sclater's Guenon is a type of Old World Monkey, meaning it is characterized by close-set nostrils and a more defined opposable thumb, much like that of a human. Ollala Brother's Titi Monkey is another type of monkey that is one of the most endangered because it does not inhabit protected land.
The main ways in which the World Wildlife Federation is attempting to save the many types of endangered monkeys are by protecting their habitats through laws and through education. Since many of these species are not known by the most people, it is important to support their survival through teaching others about them. By connecting with the animals and learning how extraordinary each creature is, people are more likely to help save their habitats through funding to support research and breeding animals in captivity.
Many of the types of endangered monkeys are being bred in captivity in an attempt by wildlife conservationists to get their numbers back into a safe range. Some of these animals may be able to be returned to the wild, although many will have to spend their lives in zoos and sanctuaries for endangered primates. In the case of zoos, this also allows the general public to learn more about rare and mostly unknown species of monkey.