Heat is killing mantled howler monkeys in Mexico

Heat is killing mantled howler monkeys in Mexico

Mantled howler monkeys have been falling dead from trees in the southeastern tropical forests of Mexico recently, as the country faces severe drought and heatwaves.

Mexican conservation organization Cobius has been rescuing the animals from the forests. So far, over 100 monkeys have died in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas, where temperatures reached 45°C (113°F) this week. 

Tabasco’s Civil Protection agency stated over the weekend that dehydration is the primary cause of the deaths. 

Cobius has been collecting the bodies of mantled howler monkeys that died due to the high temperatures. They have also placed buckets of water and fruit in the area to prevent further deaths.

The mantled howler monkey is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Mantled howler monkeys

Mantled howler monkeys are distinguished by their loud howling, which can be heard up to three miles ( 4.8 kilometers) away and is used for communication within their groups. 

These monkeys have long, thick black fur with a long tail that helps them hold onto branches.

Their diet primarily consists of leaves, although they also consume fruits, flowers, and nuts. Mantled howler monkeys inhabit various forested environments, including rainforests, dry forests, and mangroves, thriving in regions from southern Mexico to northern parts of South America.

In Mexico, mantled howler monkeys are typically found in the southern states, such as Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatán Peninsula. They play a crucial role in their ecosystems by aiding in seed dispersal and maintaining forest health. 

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