Moulton College’s new arrivals: Goeldi’s Monkeys (Callimico goeldii)
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Moulton College’s dedication for maintaining best practices and standards relating to animal welfare has led the college to be approved by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) to hold Callimico goeldii. This is an exciting opportunity for Moulton College to become a member of the Goeldi’s Monkey EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) and to be part of monitoring the conservation of these species. The EEP is managed by a studbook co-ordinator and Moulton College received this family group from Edinburgh Zoo following the co-ordinator’s recommendation. The group consists of a dominant male (Sanchez) an adult female (Callula) and two juveniles. The size of a group of Goeldi’s monkeys in the wild has been found to range from two to ten individuals and within every group there is a dominant male that is the only member of the group that is allowed to mate with the females.
Individuals within the group have strong bonds that are that are re-enforced through behaviours such as allogrooming (grooming each other) and they utilise a variety of vocalisations to communicate with other members of the group. Individuals within the species can also communicate through body language, scent marking, as well as facial expressions. For example a Goeldi’s Monkey shall show its teeth to indicate extreme unfriendliness or grimace in hopes of placating a member of the group (neprimateconservancy.org).
Goeldi’s monkeys are omnivores with their diet consisting of a mixture of fruit and plant matter as well as insects. Moulton College feeds the Goeldi’s monkeys in accordance to a diverse, as well as nutritious, set dietary plan and they are fed four different times a day. Enrichment activities are often incorporated into feeding the monkeys by means such as scatter feeding, puzzle feeders and staff are currently devising training programmes which will encourage the primates to step onto weighing scales in order to monitor their weight.
The enclosure has been designed by the Animal Welfare Centre technicians to be an enriching environment for the new arrivals. It was important to ensure that the habitat provided the primates with the opportunity to demonstrate natural behaviours; therefore lots of branches at different heights, liana vines and rope have been incorporated that allows the primates to move freely around the enclosure. The addition of both live and artificial plants encourages humidity levels and areas for retreat as well as cover. The Goeldi’s Monkeys are settling into their new enclosure well, and their environment and behaviour is being closely monitored by the College’s dedicated and experienced Animal Welfare Team. Kayleigh Huck; Senior Animal Welfare Technician is pleased to report: “‘The Goeldi’s Monkeys are settling in really well to their new enclosure. After an initial isolation period, they have now been allowed access to the outdoor quarters of their enclosure and are enjoying exploring all of the live planting, rope and liana. They are continuing to grow in confidence as they spend more time with the technicians’
Refference: Masataka, N., 1982. A field study on the vocalizations of Goeldi's monkeys (Callimico goeldii). Primates, 23(2), pp.206-219.
New England Primate Conservation: http://www.neprimateconservancy.org/goeldis-monkey.html