Two New Amazon Monkey Species Named
Dutch scientist Marc van Roosmalen says he has also discovered 20 more species in the Amazon, which are as yet unnamed.
“This once again demonstrates how little we know about biodiversity. These are the 37th and 38th new primate species described since 1990,” said Conservation International’s President Russell Mittermeier, a co-author of the scientific descriptions.
Callicebus stephennashi is named for Stephen Nash, an artist at CI who has contributed to primate conservation though his scientific illustrations.
Callicebus bernhardi is named for the Netherlands’ Prince Bernhard, who established the Order of the Golden Ark award to honor conservationists. Both van Roosmalen and Mittermeier have received the Golden Ark.
One of the best ways to find new species is to visit remote villages and check out local pets.
At an annual Indian festival called Quarup, which brings together about 17 Indian tribes, van Roosmalen and Mittermeier watch the wrestling matches, join the festivities and take a look at the village pets, which “gives a cross-section of the local fauna,” says Mittermeier.
“I didn’t realize the Amazon was so poorly known until I started finding all these new animals,” van Roosmalen said. Since 1996 he has published accounts of five new species of monkeys. And, his backyard is a jumble of creatures unknown to science—monkeys hanging around, waiting to be named and have their lives documented in a scientific journal.
He has said that he will name the other discovered species after people who pay to help create nature reserves in the region.
–Note: The following articles are my sources, and continue the story of Van Roosmalen’s discoveries.