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Primates: Agile climbers, monkeys and tamarins have forward facing eyes and dexterous, grasping hands and feet. The tail is long and is prehensile (grasping) in the larger species. New World primates are social animals, with well-developed communication systems.
Squirrel Monkey
Saimiri sciureus Squirrel Monkey image
Makushi name: Karima
Creole name: Sakiwinki
Size: body=30 cm; tail=40 cm; weight=800 g
Description: Small, slender monkey with striking colouration and short fur. Sides, shoulders and rump pale grey with an olive tinge; mid-back darker with a rusty hue; forelimbs, hands and feet a bright golden orange; striking, broad white mask around the eyes and forehead. Long tail, non prehensile, brown with a black tip on the last one third.
Activity: Diurnal, arboreal.
Habits: Social, usually in relatively large groups of 15 to over 100 individuals. This active monkey is mainly insectivorous, although will eat ripe fruits and small vertebrates. Active much of the day, but most often seen in morning and late afternoon. Often forages in the subcanopy along thin branches and vines, but also travels through the tops of trees. Large, active groups are easily seen darting about in trees and bushes, busily tearing off bark, looking under leaves, and moving through branches in search of insects. Low-intensity calls include chatters and whistles, occasionally punctuated by louder yaps and high-pitched squeals.
Habitat: Primary or secondary forest. Commonly found in seasonally flooded forest and at river's edge.
Status: Sometimes common in Iwokrama. It is listed on CITES, Appendix II.
Distribution in Iwokrama
Wedge-capped Capuchin Monkey
Cebus olivaceus Wedge-capped Capuchin Monkey image
Makushi name: IwarÓka, Iwaraka
Size: body=45 cm; tail=50 cm; weight=3 kg
Description: Medium-sized. Brownish, darkest on limbs. Top of head with a distinct wedge-shaped blackish cap tapering to a very thin stripe down the forehead to the nose; face pinkish framed by dirty grey-white to ears. Long, prehensile tail. A species of "organ-grinder monkey" so familiar to North Americans and Europeans.
Activity: Diurnal, arboreal. Usually seen in the subcanopy or lower but will also occasionally travel on the ground.
Habits: Social, typically in relatively large groups of 10 to 40 individuals. This active monkey is omnivorous, and feeds on a variety of ripe fruits, seeds, and insects. Calls include short chirps and yips, barks and sustained chatters. Will make threat displays and aggressive calls to intruders, and may approach from a low height in the trees or brush.
Habitat: Primary or secondary forest.
Status: Locally common. It is listed on CITES, Appendix II.
Distribution in Iwokrama
Golden-handed Tamarin
Saguinus midas Golden-handed Tamarin image
Makushi name: Itaru
Creole name: Red-handed Tamarin, Marmoset
Size: body=25 cm; tail=35 cm; weight=450 g
Description: Smallest primate in Guyana. Face, head, chest, belly, limbs and tail black; back a grizzled mix of black and yellow; hands and feet a bright orangish-yellow, contrasting sharply with the colour of the limbs. Tail long and non-prehensile.
Activity: Diurnal, arboreal.
Habits: Social, usually in groups of 2 to 6 individuals. Feeds on insects and fruits. Typically found 5 metres or more above ground and sometimes travels though the canopy. Often seen holding onto tree trunks in a vertical position, while it nervously peers and quickly moves its head about. Commonly heard before it is seen, makes a high-pitched whistle that once learned is clearly recognizable. Also makes a variety of bird-like chirps when alarmed
Habitat: Primary or secondary forest. Especially common in secondary areas within primary forest, such as roadsides or in viney areas along streams.
Status: This species has not been recorded on the west side of the Essequibo River in the vicinity of Iwokrama, However, further south it is found west of the western tributary of the Essequibo (Illiwa or Rewa) River. It is fairly common on the east side of the Essequibo adjacent to the reserve, and with further survey work it probably will be found in Iwokrama. It is listed on CITES, Appendix II.

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