As scientists explore some of last areas of unexamined Amazonian regions, the new species they discover are already under stress from human development. Among the new species found, the most exicing find is arguably a new monkey belonging to the Callicebus genus. The expedition team of 26 people backed by WWF(World WIldlife Fund for Nature) -Brazil discovered suspected new fish and plant species and five animal species under threat of extinction.
In May, WWF-Brazil and the scientist who made the discovery, Julio Dalponte, officially handed over the specimen to the Emílio Goeldi Museum in Belem, Para. “By integrating this animal to a reputable collection such as that of the Goeldi museum we have taken an important step towards gaining better knowledge of the fauna in the northwest Mato Grosso region which is still a puzzle with many pieces missing”, Mr Dalponte explained.
Dalponte remarked that the discovery of the new species increases the potential biodiversity of the northwest of Mato Grosso and with it the importance of conservation in the area.
“The primate specimen was found in an area between the courses of the Guariba River and the Roosevelt River, two of the most important water courses in the north-western part of Mato Grosso state. Dalponte noted “This primate has features on its head and tail that have never been observed before in other titi monkey species found in the same area.”
The animal will be the object of studies designed to provide a detailed description of its characteristics to mammalian zoology experts and primatologists worldwide.
The study of the species will take about six months to conclude. The process of publishing the discovery in specialised scientific journals can take up to one year from the time the papers are submitted till the time they are approved for publication by the editing committees of scientific journals and reviews.
The area the expedition team explored lies within an area known as ‘Deforestation Crescent’ which is overrun with illegal loggers and occupied by huge cattle farms.
Violence associated to land tenure conflicts and lack of health or education services and electricity supplies are very common throughout the area. On top of that there are environmental problems like predatory forms of fishing, contamination of river water, deforestation, unchecked expansion of agricultural activities and lack of surveillance and inspection on the part of the state and federal environment authorities.