Monkey Forest Tales: What we do at Zocay Project?

In recent weeks some people, locals from the study area, and colleagues had been asking what we do at Zocay Project. So, today’s post is about our activities and projects.
From the beginning the purpose of Zocay Project (Proyecto Zocay in Spanish) has been to monitor primate populations in forest fragments of different sizes, around San Martin town in Colombian Llanos. At the same time and during several years, with help from students and volunteers we also collected behavioral and ecological data focusing on mainly on movements, diet and individual relationships of four of the five species of primates found in the study area (see some of our findings and lessons learned in some or our past posts). Additionally, and in different years, we have support landowners initiatives of reforestation in fences and swamp areas with native species used by monkeys in the area. We have also make environmental education activities mainly with kids in farms and in San Martin town.
More recently, we initiated a camera trap project (in August of past year) to monitor wildlife use of natural and artificial water sources (see post from March 3rd, 2023 here). This project has helped us to also monitor the presence of feral dogs in the area and make possible our collaboration with Onca Foundation (a Colombian NGO) not only for this camera trap project but also a campaign of farm’s dog vaccinations that will be done in May 20th, as part of an international campaign with Onca Foundation and their partners as a prevention measure to reduce disease transmissions between domestic dogs and wild felids and canids.
In recent years we also expanded our activities and collaborations with local organizations in Cumaral town (Cumaral Biodiversa, Terra Viva Foundation and El Silencio farm) to study nocturnal monkey’s populations and nesting sites in this area. And Villavicencio city (William Barrios Fundation and SUSA research group from Universidad de los Llanos, a regional university) to study nocturnal and dusky titi monkeys in forest fragments in the urban and rural area of this city. In Villavicencio we also started a monitoring of squirrel monkeys groups living in remnant forest fragments inside the city, with help of citizen science and direct group counts.
We also had expanded our sampling to Villanueva town, limits of dusty titi monkey (zocay) in search of clarifications of their distribution area. We started monkey’s groups monitoring around this town with help of local people.
Finally, we are collaborating with the local environmental authority to support and participate in some activities coordinated by them in terms of environmental education in San Martin, with participation of the municipality, and fauna accidents in Villavicencio city.
So, although most of our focus and activities are concentrated in San Martin we had tried to include additional areas in the region that have the same monkey’s species and expand our collaborations. If you want to collaborate and/or participate and support our activities please contact us at
If you want to support our activities, please visit or get in contact with as at if you want to collaborate, donate or volunteer in our activities
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