Black Howler Monkey

Alouatta caraya

Howlers are the heftiest primates in America, as females weight more than 5 kg and males more than 9 kg. They are social animals that move in groups around their territory, where they basically feed on leaves, although they can also eat fruit, seed, flowers and tender sprouts.

Due to some modifications in their mouth and to the presence of laryngeal air sacs that forms a sound box, they are able to make their characteristic howl, which can be heard up to 4 km away.

Breeding program

ESB_Zoo_Captura

Natural habit

Bolivia, Paraguay, central Brazil and northern Argentina.

Alouatta caraya
  • Distribution / Resident
  • Breeding
  • Wintering
  • Subspecies

Risk level

  • Extint
  • Extint in the wild
  • Critically endangered
  • In Danger
  • Vulnerable
  • Near threatened
  • Minor concern
  • Insufficient data
  • Not evaluated
Least Concern

Taxonomy

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Atelidae

Physical characteristics

4 - 9,5 Kg
Birth Weight: 120 - 150 g
54 - 65 cm
Up to 20 years in captivity

Biology

Habitat
Jungle
Social life
Gregarious
Feeding
Herbivorous

Reproduction

Gestation
180 - 187
Days
Baby
1

Discover how they are

Biology

Description

The black howler presents strong sexual dimorphism, as females are smaller and have a yellow or brow hue, while males are bigger and black. They have a sensitive and prehensile tail that they use as a fifth arm.

Habitat

Rainforests and forests with deciduous and semi-deciduous trees, riparian forests and forest-savannahs with some dense vegetation, always in places with presence of certain species which grant them enough food.

Feeding

The basically feed on leaves, although they can also eat fruit, seed, flowers and tender sprouts.

Reproduction

Gestation lasts for six months and a single infant is born each time, who depends on its mother for at least one year. During this period, males help with the transportation and care of the infants.

Conduct

They live in groups of five to eight animals, although groups of up to eighteen or nineteen have been reported. In these groups, there are usually more females than males.

They are territorial, but only defend the area they are occupying each time, so the territories of different groups often overlap. All the members of the group howl every morning to announce their position to neighbouring groups, in order to avoid conflict. They also pile up their excrements and rub themselves against branches to mark their territory.

Status and conservation programs

This species is threatened mainly by the loss of its habitat due to agricultural and livestock expansion and because in some regions it is still hunted for human consumption.

The Zoo of Barcelona takes part in the ESB of this species.