The Central American Squirrel Monkey is a pint sized omnivore specifically found in the forested areas along the Pacific Coasts of Costa Rica and Panama.
Squirrel Monkeys are found throughout Central and South America, but the Central American Squirrel Monkey is only found in Costa Rica and Panama. It prefers lowland forest, primary and secondary forests, and can be spotted at Tenorio and Miravalles Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Peñas Blancas National Park and Corcovado National Park.
Mating & Reproduction
All sexually mature female Central American Squirrel Monkeys reach estrus (heat) around September, so sexually mature male Squirrel Monkeys take on more weight a month before breeding season comes on by way of their testosterone production spiking. Females reach sexual maturity at around 2 and a half years, whereas males reach it at around 4 to 5 years. Females generally pick the males that have expanded the most, and the males don’t fight over females (it hasn’t been observed).
Gestation lasts around six weeks, and most newborns show up around the end of February and the beginning of March. Birds typically pick off about 50% of the young Squirrel Monkeys. Twelve months after their birth, the mother will most likely be verging on producing a new baby. At this point the young Squirrel Monkey is rendered independent.
This arboreal and diurnal Squirrel Monkey is very vocal and gregarious. Groups of Squirrel Monkeys range from 20 to 75 individuals who make a variety of calls to each other in the forest canopy. The only time this group shows dominance is in the breeding season.
Central American Squirrel Monkeys are omnivorous. It prefers arthropods, but it also eats fruit, insect larvae, small vertebrates, leaves, bark, flowers and nectar.
For a time, it was believed that the Central American Squirrel Monkey was the same species as that of the Squirrel Monkey found in South America, but that was disproved. The Central American Squirrel Monkey is listed as vulnerable in terms of its conservation status due to its small range and habitat loss.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Tenorio & Miravalles Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Peñas Blancas National Park, Corcovado National Park
Diet: small vertebrates, fruit, insects, insect larvae, leaves, bark, flowers, nectar
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: lowland forest, primary & secondary forest
Size: length=266-291 mm weight=600-950 g tail=362-389 mm
Species: Saimiri oerstedii