From Wildlife Extra:
Five new Amazonian saki monkey species discovered
A 10 year study of the saki monkey has revealed the existence of five new monkeys, bringing the total number of different saki species to 16.
“I began to suspect there might be more species of saki monkeys when I was doing field research in Ecuador,” said lead author Dr Laura K. Marsh, primate ecologist and director of the Global Conservation Institute.
“The more I saw, the more I realised that scientists had been confused in their evaluation of the diversity of sakis for over two centuries.”
Saki monkeys are a secretive group of primates native to the tropical forests of South America. They are often hunted for food, even though their elusive behaviour makes them difficult to find. The five new species are found in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia – three of them are endemic to Brazil and one to Peru.
This revision increases the number of primates in Brazil to 145; the highest diversity for any single nation.
Primates are major components of tropical rain forest systems, and are of great importance as seed dispersers, predators, and sometimes even as prey.
“Besides being vital for their conservation and survival, the revised scientific description of these sakis is a major step in our understanding of primate diversity in Amazonia and worldwide,” said Dr Anthony B. Rylands, Senior Researcher at Conservation International and Deputy-Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group, after whom one of the new species, Rylands’ bald-faced saki (Pithecia rylandsi), was named.
The others include Cazuza’s saki (Pithecia cazuzai), Mittermeier’s Tapajós saki (Pithecia mittermeieri), Pissinatti’s bald-faced saki (Pithecia pissinattii) and Isabel’s saki (Pithecia isabela).
“Saki monkeys, like many rain forest primates, are excellent indicators for the health of tropical forest systems,” said Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier, President of Conservation International and Chair of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group.
“This revision of the genus shows clearly how little we still know about the diversity of the natural world that surrounds us and upon which we ourselves depend so much.”
See also here.
The scientific description of these new speciew is here.