Today marks another huge step forward for the Wildtracks Primate Conservation Programme, as it partners with the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation for reintroduction of the first of three troops of Yucatan black howler monkeys into Runaway Creek Nature Reserve. This globally endangered species disappeared from the reintroduction site after Hurricane Richard in 2010. Assessments have shown that the habitat has recovered but with increasing forest fragmentation in the landscape, the species has not been able to return
The first troop is a family of three howlers – Sean, Maya and their offspring, Phil. Due for release in 2020, Sean and Maya had to be held back as a result of Covid-19, and matured sufficiently to produce Phil, who has grown up in the two-thirds of an acre of forest in the pre-release enclosure as a wild monkey.
Well adjusted, with the skills they need for survival, all three are now more than ready for life in the wild! Over the next few days, their pre-release enclosure door will be opened - and they will be free! Pablito Pena, from the Wildtracks Post Release Monitoring Team, has joined the Runaway Creek staff to assist with the initial care of the monkeys while at the release site, and the first few days of post release monitoring, to ensure a smooth start to this first release.
Thanks and appreciation have to go to our partners at Foundation for Wildlife Conservation and the Belize Forest Department for their assistance and support towards this first release...we know the monkeys are in good hands!
Thank you to Kayla Hartwell for the video, and Kayla and Toro for the photos and video.