Distribution survey, ecological niche modelling and conservation assessment of the Peruvian Night Monkey: Aotus Miconax Thomas, 1927 (Mammalia: Primates: Aotidae) in north-eastern Peru, with notes on the distributions of Aotus spp. Gray, 1870

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Sam Shanee
Nestor Allgas
Noga Shanee
Nicola Campbell


Aotus miconax is endemic to Peru and remains one of the least studied of all Neotropical primate taxa.  It has an altitudinally restricted distribution and is limited to areas of premontane and montane cloud forest in the countries north.  Deforestation in the area is the highest in the country.  In many areas deforestation has fragmented remnant populations of A. miconax to isolated forest fragments with high hunting pressure.  Our aim was to gather information on the current distribution of A. miconax and other Aotus species in northeastern Peru.  Through field surveys we found evidence of the presence of Aotus spp. at 44 localities in the departments of Amazonas, Huánuco, La Libertad and San Martin, including 23 visual observations and four aural detections and from secondary evidence at a further 17 sites.  Aotus miconax was found at sites between 1200–3100 m.  Combining GIS and maximum entropy ecological niche modelling we predicted the probable original distribution of A. miconax.  We also evaluated the current area of occupancy, level of fragmentation and anthropogenic threats faced by this species.  The current area of occupancy of A. miconax is much reduced and anthropogenic threats to this species are severe and increasing.  The current IUCN Red List status (VU) underestimates actual habitat loss and disturbance.  Sympatric species which suffer from similar levels of hunting and habitat loss are considered ‘Critically Endangered’ (IUCN 2011) and based on our estimate of ~60% habitat loss, with much of the remaining habitat highly fragmented; we would like to suggest that A. miconax be classified as Endangered.

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Author Biographies

Sam Shanee, Neotropical Primate Conservation, 23 Portland Road, Manchester M32 0PH, United Kingdom and, Asociación Neotropical Primate Conservation Perú, 1187 Carretera Fernando Belaunde Terry, La Esperanza, Yambrasbamba, Perú

Sam Shanee is a pimatologist, conservationist and co-founder of Neotropical Primate Conservation. He currently lives in Peru where he co-manages NPC’s research and conservation activities focuseing on the ecology and conservation of Peru’s endemic primates.


Nestor Allgas, Asociación Neotropical Primate Conservation Perú, 1187 Carretera Fernando Belaunde Terry, La Esperanza, Yambrasbamba, Perú and, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Av. Universitaria/Av. Germán Amézaga s/n, Edificio Jorge Basadre, Ciudad Universitaria, Lima, Perú

Nestor Allgas is a biologist from San Marcos University in Lima and founding president of Asociacion Neotropical Primate Conservation - Peru. His main areas of interest are primatology and herpetology. 


Noga Shanee, Neotropical Primate Conservation, 23 Portland Road, Manchester M32 0PH, United Kingdom Asociación Neotropical Primate Conservation Perú, 1187 Carretera Fernando Belaunde Terry, La Esperanza, Yambrasbamba, Perú and, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Av. Universitaria/Av. Germán Amézaga s/n, Edificio Jorge Basadre, Ciudad Universitaria, Lima, Perú

Noga Shanee is co-founder of Neotropical Primate Conservation and co-director of the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey project. She specializes tackling illegal wildlife trafficking and her main research interests are the political ecology of biodiversity loss and the connections between cultures, religions and the environment. 


Nicola Campbell, Neotropical Primate Conservation, 23 Portland Road, Manchester M32 0PH, United Kingdom

Nicola Campbell has worked in conservation in Peru with Netoropical Primate Conservation and the CREES Foundation. She has masters degree in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University UK and currently teaches biology at Cirencester College, UK.



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