THE NEW GENERATION ARRIVED

This time of year is the delight for many animals in Costa Rica. The forests are covered with blooms of all colors, others already have fruits hanging heavily off branches, and some trees are full of seeds that are already covering the forest floor. Bugs, bees and other insects are buzzing everywhere. This time of abundance is the time titi monkey mothers bring their babies to the world.

But, hoping to see the babies of this elusive species of primates endemic to the Central Pacific of Costa Rica is not realistic, since they are declared endangered and their current number is estimated to about 1,500. Many local people sadly say that they rarely see them any more. So, imagine my delight when a couple of mornings ago I woke up by the chirping of a whole troup of titis right in my garden in Manuel Antonio. There is a number of special monkey treats growing in the yard, like cocoa tree, several types of palms, but that is not unique in Manuel Antonio and does not explain this unexpected visit. The troup stayed for hours, to the delight of the whole neighborhood. There were 5-6 mothers with babies that I could see, all babies about the same size, maybe a month old. Some of the youngsters were trying to brave the world by venturing up the tree branch in search of a treat, quickly followed by a concerned mother.

The babies stay attached to their mother’s back for the first five weeks of their life, but by the age of two months they start spending more and more time with their friends play-fighting, and eventually by the age of four months they are completely weaned.

Let’s hope that this scene was witnessed all over the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, where the titis live. Whether the reason is the hard work of Titi Conservation Alliance on rehabilitating the habitat or mono titis, or they are simply adapting to closer interactions with humans and greatly disturbed environment, their survival is our great hope and joint  responsibility.

See more photos at the Titi Conservation Alliance Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=photos&gid=119195955653

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