Animals of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Four different species of monkeys are found in Costa Rica:
The White-throated Capuchin Monkeys (Carablanca) live in groups of 5 to 24. They are extremely curious, agile and aggressive, defending their territory by threatening with their sharp teeth and shaking on trees. Apart from fruits and leaves they eat also lizards, birds and their eggs.
Capuchin monkeys are firmly convinced that all bananas in the world belong to them, and no one else than them. Should you have the strange idea of refusing them THEIR bananas they can become quite naughty.
The sounds of Howler Monkeys (Mono Congo) sound terrifying for a first-time visitor in Costa Rica but these animals are 100 percent peaceful vegetarians. Take care however to not to stand beneath a howler monkey family as they use an effective strategy to keep people away who bother them: they pee - with the most innocent face imaginable.
Howler monkeys rarely set their feet on the ground, they only travel trough the canopy.
Construction development with clearing of forests has cut off many of the monkey's travel routes so that in the last 15 years Costa Rica's howler monkey population has declined by 50%.
While deforestation is the main reason for the decrease of monkey populations in Costa Rica, many monkeys also end up being electrocuted on uninsulated power lines where their usual travel routes through the canopy have been cut. To report hazards or animals killed by uninsulated power lines call Minae in Cobano: 2642 1108 or in San Jose 2233 4533 and 2257 0922
Spider Monkeys (Mono Araña) are the most intelligent monkey species in Costa Rica. With their long, slender arms and prehensile tail the animals move gracefully through the canopy in search for fruits, seeds and leaves.
Spider monkeys are severely endangered in Costa Rica due to habitat loss and poaching: in order to get the baby monkeys, the adults are killed by the poachers.
On the Nicoya Peninsula spider monkeys are almost extinct but in the Curu Wildlife Reserve a re-introduction program seems to be successful.
The fourth one of Costa Rica's monkey species, the squirrel monkey (Mono Titi), is not found on the Nicoya Peninsula. They are easily seen in the area around the Manuel Antonio National Park on the Costa Rican mainland.