A new population of one of the world’s rarest monkey species has been found in central Colombia, National Geographic reported Friday.
According to NG, scientists found the brown spider monkey population in the Selva de Florencia, a national park located in the central Caldas department.
Considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the brown spider monkey has declined in its north South American range by at least 80 percent over the past 45 years, due mostly to hunting and habitat loss, said the scientific institute’s website.
Finding the population was “a very emotional moment” for the scientists who were investigating animal species in the national park, Nestor Roncancio of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Latin America and Caribbean Program told National Geographic.
“We were very surprised because, despite believing it was possible that the monkey was there, we knew it would be very unlikely to see it on such a short trip and due to the difficult terrain,” Roncancio added.
Colombia is home to approximately 359 mammal species, of which nearly 10% is determined endangered.