Marmosets are small New World Monkeys, Platyrrhini, with claw-like nails and the incisor and canine teeth of the lower jaw modified for boring holes in Trees to obtain sap, a significant part of their diet. The group is well studied in the Atlantic Forests of Brazil, but also present in the forests of the Amazon Basin, where they are less well understood.
In a paper published in the journal PeerJ on 25 July 2019, Rodrigo Costa-Araújo of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia and the Departamento de Genética at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Fabiano de Melo of the Departamento de Engenharia Florestal at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, and the Unidade Acadêmica Especial Ciências Biológicas at the Universidade Federal de Goiás, Gustavo Rodrigues Canale of the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Sandra Hernández-Rangel, also of the Departamento de Genética at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Mariluce Rezende Messias of the Departamento de Biologia at the Universidade Federal de Rondônia, Rogério Vieira Rossi of the Departamento de Biologia e Zoologia at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Felipe Silva of the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford, and the Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá, Maria Nazareth Ferreira da Silva of the Coleção de Mamíferos at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Stephen Nash of the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University, Jean Boubli, also of the School of Environment and Life Sciences at University of Salford, and Izeni Pires Farias and Tomas Hrbek, again of the Departamento de Genética at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, describe a new species of Marmoset from the Tapajós–Jamanxim interfluve (i.e. the area between the Tapajós and Jamanxim rivers) in the southwest of Pará State, Brazil.
The new species is placed in the genus Mico, and given the specific name munduruku, in honour of the Munduruku Amerindians of the Tapajós–Jamanxim interfluve. The species was first identified by its coat, which is distinctive and cannot easily be mistaken from that of any other previously described Marmoset, and later confirmed as a separate species by genetic analysis. Members of this species are white in colour with a a beige-yellowish spot on the elbow, and beige-yellowish saddle.
Mico munduruku, artists impression. Stephen Nash in Costa-Araújo et al. (2019).
Mico munduruku is found in lowland terra firme rainforest (i.e. rainforest which does not flood), from the left margin of the Jamanxim River, below the mouth of Novo River, possibly up to the right margin of the upper Tapajós River, below the mouth of Cururú River. The Tapajós–Jamanxim interfluve covers an area of about 120 000 km², slightly less than the area of New Mexico or England, although the area occupied by Mico munduruku is thought to only cover about 55 000 km². This region is one of the main fronts of forest destruction within the Arc of deforestation, a region infamously characterised by fast, intense and disordered conversion of forests to pastoral and agricultural land and human settlements, and has area has suffered extensive environmental damages due to illegal logging and agricultural expansion—this is happening even within federal conservation units and protected indigenous lands. There are also there are four hydroelectric plants in the process of implementation in this region. The population structure of Mico munduruku is to poorly understood to properly assess it's conservation status at this time, but Costa-Araújo et al. nevertheless express extreme concern about the future of the species given the immediate threats to its environment.
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