A Model for Successful Reintroductions
Belize has two globally endangered primates - the Yucatan black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), a regional endemic, and the Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). Traditionally, primate rehabilitation has been viewed as being a purely welfare action. The Wildtracks Primate Rehabilitation Programme demonstrates that effectively planned rehabilitation can be used for delivering significant conservation gains, both for at-risk species and for strengthening ecosystem resilience. In Belize, a national zero tolerance policy for captive primates has resulted in a 95% decrease in the illegal trade in primates (pre-Covid). Strong partnerships ensure that all primates confiscated by the Forest Department or surrendered from the illegal pet trade are rehabilitated by Wildtracks and released in a highly effective endangered species reintroduction programme - with significant investment of time and resources in post-release monitoring, resulting in a 95% post-release survival rate and rapid population growth.