BALD UAKARI – Cacajao calvus


Bald uakari facts: The bald uakari has long, coarse, shaggy hair that varies in coloration from white to red to reddish gold to orange. The bald face is pink to bright red. It is thought that the red face is an indication to a potential mate that the individual is healthy.

Malaria is a common disease in the Amazon rainforest, and uakaris afflicted with the disease tend to have paler faces. Sharp incisors, canine teeth, and powerful jaws are especially adapted for piercing and cracking the hard shells of fruits and extracting the seeds, their favorite food. Bald uakaris weigh about 6.6 to 7.7 pounds (3 to 3.5 kilograms) and measure about 21.3 to 22.4 inches (54 to 57 centimeters), with a tail length of 5.9 to 6.3 inches (15 to 16 centimeters). It is the only South American monkey with a short tail.

Geographic range: Bald uakaris are found in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

Bald uakari habitat: Bald uakaris prefer flooded rainforests along small rivers.

Seasonal rainfall, which can last six or more months, causes water to cover as much as 33 feet (10 meters) of tree trunks, so the uakaris remain in the trees during that time.

What does bald uakari eat: Bald uakaris are seed specialists, preferring the seeds found in unripe fruits and those with hard skins that abound in flooded rainforests. They eat young saplings on the ground when the waters dry up. They also feed on flowers, insects, and snails.

Behavior and reproduction: Bald uakaris generally live in groups of ten to thirty individuals. Large groups consisting of up to 100 individuals form smaller groups when foraging. Uakaris sleep at night in the forest canopy. They travel on four limbs and also leap through the forest, although they are not expert leapers. When feeding, they sometimes suspend themselves in the air using their limbs.

Uakaris have several mating partners. Females have single births every two years, caring for the infants themselves. The mother carries the newborn on her front during the first three or four months, after which she carries it on her back. Infants are weaned by twentyone months.

Bald uakaris and people: Bald uakaris are hunted for food and collected as pets.

Conservation status: The IUCN lists the bald uakari as Near Threatened due to continued hunting for food and trapping for the pet trade.