In reference to the birders Nov 2008 trip report, on 11/27/08 he encountered a family group of Brown headed Spider Monkeys (Ateles fusciceps) in Playa de Oro. This primate is critically endangered and is listed in the top 25 of most critically endangered primates in the world, with an estimated less than 250 individuals left in the wild.
This is not the first time myself or others have encounted extremely rare wildlife in Playa de Oro's reserve. A few years ago one of our tour groups encountered a trio of Bush Dogs, which are the rarest of all wild canids in the world. We have also encountered fresh jaguar tracks, which was exciting because we thought they had long been hunted out in the region. It is not surprising that wildlife is being pushed further into Playa de Oro as most of the surrounding areas of jungle are destroyed. Some birds and wildlife can survive and carry on in secondary forest after the primary forest has been logged or otherwise destroyed, but others like the Brown Headed Spider monkey or the Bush Dog cannot, they need primary rainforest habitat to survive.
The thing that we need to do to help bring attention to Playa de Oro to help them preserve the habitat and the rare wildlfie there is to get the word out to the wildlife conservation community of researchers and conservationists of these sightings of rare species. If we can attract more wildlife research and studies to Playa de Oro, their findings can help bring attention to the rest of the world the importance of preserving this last remaining jewel in the region. Not just for the habitat, but for all the rare species that remain there and have found their last refuge in Playa de Oro.
If any of you supporters of PDO can help me get the word out to primate researchers, maybe we can entice someone to do a research project on the Brown Headed Spider Monkey in PDO. There are a lot of studies on this species on the internet, and if any of you can help me search the internet and email some of these researchers interested in primates, maybe we can get someone interested in doing a project at PDO. Or if you know someone in the wildlife conservaiton community--spread the word about this primate sighting. There has been next to no research studies done in the region of PDO due to how remote it is and teh extremely difficult terrain, so there is no telling what other rare species can be thriving there. And the more documention we can get of rare speices there, the more international attention we can bring to PDO and help them protect it.