Dr. Karen Strier, a professor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, safely brought home WINGS WorldQuest Flag #17, which she carried on expedition to southeast Brazil’s Atlantic Forest last month. Dr. Strier’s life’s-work is to save the world’s most peaceful primate - the northern muriqui monkey – from extinction.
Dr. Strier and her team spent 3 weeks in the Atlantic Forest observing the critically endangered northern muriqui and strategizing how to build on conservation efforts that, during her 33-year study there, have accomplished an optimistic increase in the population.
Like too many animals in their natural habitat, the northern muriqui monkey has suffered greatly from over hunting and habitat destruction. Fewer than 1,000 are known to survive in only a dozen remaining fragments of the Atlantic Forest.
While monitoring her long-term study population, Strier and her team noticed that a subset of the remaining monkeys have disappeared from the reserve. Strier suspects that this indicates a new colony is forming north of the reserve. Forest fragments had been separated by mass clearings, but now the muriquis can make the leap between them via corridors engineered and developed by local and dedicated conservationists.
During their treks through pockets of the forest on this expedition, the team mapped out a plan to search for these muriquis, which, if found, will represent groundbreaking advances for the conservation and growth of our world’s most peaceful primate. We are anxious to see what Dr. Strier and her team uncover on their next expedition.