Nutritional and Health Status of Woolly Monkeys

Source: International Journal of Primatology (online), 2008
Woolly monkeys are threatened species in the wild and in captivity. Numerous zoological institutions have historically kept these monkeys, but only a few of them have succeeded in breeding populations.
Therefore the majority of institutions that formerly kept Lagothrix lagotricha spp. are no longer able or willing to do so. Captive populations of the species (Lagothrix lagotricha and L. flavicauda) have frequent health problems, most significantly hypertension and related disorders. Researchers have conducted free-ranging dietary and behavior studies with respect to woolly monkeys, but have established no concrete link between diet or nutrients and captive health problems. The available literature we discuss indicates that researchers need to examine the link further. In addition, it is critical to the survival of the primates to be able to keep breeding populations in captivity owing to increasing natural pressures such as deforestation and hunting. Therefore, better understanding of the captive and free-ranging behavior and health parameters of the species is vital to ensure their survival and to maintain forest health and diversity. Researchers need to conduct large-scale research studies comparing the health and complete diet of individuals in the wild and captivity to resolve health problems facing the species in captivity.

Title: Nutritional and Health Status of Woolly Monkeys

Authors: Kimberly Ange-van Heugten, Saskia Timmer, Walter L. Jansen and Martin W. A. Verstegen