Monkey Forest Tales: News from the field, babies season is here!!

I’m writing today’s post, sitting at one of farm house in which we stay during our field trips, while refreshing myself after coming back of my third day of this year babies season. It is always exciting when I visit these fragments to count how many new babies the Colombian squirrel monkeys have and it is even more exciting when we found out that not only squirrel monkeys have babies this year during this month but also the dusty titi monkeys. In the past days we also saw three month old howler babies and six month old black-capped capuchin babies.
This year we had been lucky enough to see also babies from the squirrel monkey group near to town, that we are able only few times to see it at the beginning of the year. So up to now baby monkeys season has been successful, let’s hope those babies can reach the adulthood. Unfortunately our data from past years had showed a high mortality of juveniles, especially in squirrel monkeys.
Up to now, one of the three squirrel monkeys that we check every year had babies. The other two groups have pregnant females, which we continue monitoring in February and March, the whole birth season for this species in the area. All these groups had at least two infants from last year still alive and at least one group of bachelor males has been observed this month.
Monkeys are not the only beautiful surprises that these forest fragments give us in this trip, we also had seen coatis, squirrels, guan’s, toucans and a giant ant eater. Scarlet ibis are arriving, as well as migratory ducks.
This year seems to be more wet than years before and the stream had more water than in previous years during this same month. Usually this region have few rain during January, however this year rain have been more frequent than usual. It is always difficult to predict how long the dry season will last and how strong it will be as the rainy pattern in the area had changed in the past decade.
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Monkey Forest Tales: Planning 2023

Today’s post is the first one of 2023 and although our fieldwork won’t start until next week, is still that time of the year when you plan for the whole year activities, so that is part of what we are doing at the moment in Zocay Project. So, for now I just give you a few updates of our plans for this new year and some preliminary news on our wildlife use of water sources.
This new project of wildlife use of water sources, we started our first round of camera pictures revision and again we observed ocelots, as well as we had observed tayras in the area, which means we still have some carnivorous in the area. We also get some pictures of new birds and rodents that we didn’t see before, and we are excited to continue discovering what our cameras are capturing close to the water sources.
An additional discovery in our cameras is that an elusive but common carnivorous, crab-eating racoon, seems to be more common than we thought in the area, and it appears in several of the cameras, including some cameras near to artificial lakes in the middle of pastures. So, even with all the transformation of this landscape, we still have an incredible amount of biodiversity that make these cattle ranching landscapes