Gray Handed Night Monkey, Aotus griseimembra

The gray-handed night monkey (Aotus griseimembra) is a species of night monkey that can be found in areas of Venezuela and Colombia. This species prefers to reside in forests and can be found in a variety of forest types including coffee plantations and secondary forests. Although it is listed as a distinct species, it is possibly a subspecies of the gray-bellied night monkey. It is small, with males reaching an average weight of 35.6 ounces and females reaching a weight of 32.6 ounces. This species has short fur that can be reddish brown to greyish brown on the back, with light brown fur occurring on the back of the hands and feet, a feature that distinguishes it from other members of its genus.

The gray-handed night monkey is nocturnal, spending most of its time in trees. It can be found in groups between two and six individuals consisting of an adult male and female, one young, and a few juveniles or young adults. Groups hold territories of varying sizes that may overlap. As is typical to the night monkey genus, this species creates monogamous pairs and typically gives birth to one young per year, although twins do occur. Fathers will carry the young around after the first or second day of age, giving them to their mothers for periodic nursing.

The gray-handed night monkey is threatened by habitat loss, especially in Colombia, and it experienced a large loss in population number during the 1960’s and 1970’s due to capture for malaria research purposes. Currently, the gray-handed night monkey appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Vulnerable.”

Image Caption: A Gray-handed Night Monkey at Marwell Wildlife, Hampshire, England. Credit: Adam Woodford/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)