Goeldi's monkey

Callimico goeldii

Irish Name: Moncaí Goeldi
IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Goeldi’s monkeys are small monkeys with thick, soft, silky fur between 1-2cm in length. They also have a mane of longer hair around their neck which hides their ears. Their coat colour ranges from dark brown to light black to jet black. Their dark colour makes them difficult to see in their natural habitat and for this reason, the species was not described by scientists until 1904 by Emil Goeldi after whom they are named. Their tail of 25-32cm is longer than their head and body. Their tail is not prehensile (capable of grasping things).

 

Goeldi's monkey

Callimico goeldii

Irish Name: Moncaí Goeldi
IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Goeldi’s monkeys are small monkeys with thick, soft, silky fur between 1-2cm in length. They also have a mane of longer hair around their neck which hides their ears. Their coat colour ranges from dark brown to light black to jet black. Their dark colour makes them difficult to see in their natural habitat and for this reason, the species was not described by scientists until 1904 by Emil Goeldi after whom they are named. Their tail of 25-32cm is longer than their head and body. Their tail is not prehensile (capable of grasping things).

 

General Information

Where do they live? (Natural habitat)

Goeldi’s monkeys are found in Brazil, Peru, Columbia and Bolivia in rainforests, forests mixed with bamboo and large stands of thin straight trees. They are usually found at the lower forest levels, at heights between 5-10 m from the ground. They spend time in different habitat types throughout the year: 76% of the year in lower areas of dense forests; 10% in the bamboo forest, 3% in a secondary forest. Their preference for dense vegetation is related to the presence of fungi and insects which form part of their diet.

How long do they live?

Goeldi’s monkeys live between 12-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in zoos.

What do they eat?

Goeldi’s monkeys' diet includes fruit, insects, spiders fungi, nectar and sap. Fungi are an essential part of their diet. Two types are eaten: 3 species of jelly fungi and 2 species of bamboo fungi. Fungi account for between 48-63% of their diet in the dry season (May-July) while fruits are more important during the wet season particularly in January - February. They forage for insects in the lower canopy of the forest and beneath leaf litter on the forest floor. They also eat vertebrates such as frogs, toads, lizards and bird eggs.

Zoo location

Goeldi's monkeys can be found in the South American House in Dublin Zoo.

Closest related species / sister species

Goeldi's monkey is the only member of its genus Callimico. Their closest relatives are the genus Callithrix, a group of marmosets.

Animal class

Mammalia

Animal order

Primates

Fun facts

It takes a village

For the first 2 weeks of the infant's life the mother carries the young, during the third week the father carries the infant, then in the fourth week the responsibility for carrying the young, then in the fourth week, responsibility for carrying young is taken up by all of the Goeldi monkeys in that group.

Multilingual

They communicate using scent, facial and body language and vocalisations. They can make up to 40 different vocalisations which vary with the situation e.g. some are alarm calls, warning calls, long and short distance location calls. The location calls help them maintain contact with other individuals in the group.

Nap time

They can rest in dense groups for between 30-90 minutes three times a day. During the resting periods, they may sunbathe or groom.

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Family Life

Goeldi's monkeys live in groups that range in size from 2-12 individuals. The group can have more than one breeding female and more than one adult male. Their day is spent feeding, foraging, travelling, grooming, resting and scanning. They like to sleep in a dense tangle of vegetation or leaves. They also form inter-specific associations particularly during the wet season. The members of these inter-specific groups stay close to each other and communicate with each other by vocalisations.

Baby name

Infant

Gestation (pregnancy) period

On average the gestation period lasts 5 months.

Number of young at birth

Usually 1 infant is born. Twinning is very rare, however females can breed twice per year.

Weight at birth

30-60 grams

Age at maturity

Females reach sexual maturity at around one year old. Males reach sexual maturity slightly later between 15-16 months.

Size male adult

Weight: 366g; Length/Height 19.0 - 25.5cm

Size female adult

Weight 355g; Length/Height: 24.5 - 35.5cm

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Conservation

Vulnerable

The Goeldi's monkey is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation in Nature because developments and deforestation may lead to loss or fragmentation of habitat.

Current population estimate

The total population of Goeldi's monkeys is unknown due to difficulty in getting an estimate due to extreme fluctuations in the subpopulations and difficulty in observing. However, the population is declining.

Threats

Currently they face no major threats. However as the forests are cleared for agriculture, pasture and logging, they will come under increasing threat because these developments result in loss and fragmentation of their habitat. They are also affected by hunting and trapping.

What is Dublin Zoo doing?

Dublin Zoo is the studbook keeper for Goeldi's monkeys in European zoos. This means that we manage the breeding of Geoldi's monkeys across all European zoos. A bit like a monkey match-maker, we choose suitable mates among zoos!

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