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  • markcskilling

This Place is "Intense" said the Spider Monkey

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

National Geographic dubbed Corcovado National Park “the most biologically intense place on earth”: this forest sustains 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity in just 0.001% of its land area. It’s the largest park in Costa Rica, protecting about one-third of the Osa Peninsula, and often considered the crown jewel of the country’s National Park system. Despite the good work of the Costa Rica National Parks National System of Conservation Areas there has remained illegal gold mining, poaching and logging in the park that continues to strain the environment and threaten the abundant wildlife that lives within the park. Among the wildlife that calls Corcovado National Park home is the exceptionally cute Spider Monkey. There are several varieties of Spider Monkeys; however, the subspecies that inhabits Costa Rica is the Geoffroy Spider Monkey (Ateles Geofforyi).

The Spider Monkey is considered critically endangered because of habitat loss and fragmentation, severe hunting pressure, and the darn pet trade. The problems are multiplied by its long gestation period (226-232 days) and the need to spend a relatively large proportion of their time foraging due to the fact that the Spider Monkeys diet consists primarily of fruit requiring large expanses of forest. In addition, Spider Monkeys are one of the main species hunted in indigenous regions which is probably OK, but certainly doesn't help matters.

Support the conservation of the Corcovado National Park can be made through Global Conservation or the Costa Rica National Parks. Also, People's Trust for Engaged Species (PTES) and Osa Conservation are organizations that have programs to save the Spider Monkey.

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