Red howler monkeys are New World monkeys and can be found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Like some other New World monkey species they have a specially adapted prehensile tail that they use to help them climb through their canopy home. The red howler monkey is one of six howler monkey species living in the wild.
Howler monkeys have a special adaptation in their throat which increases the volume of their roar. This roar can last up to eight seconds and can be heard from three miles away. Families will often be heard calling to mark their territory.
They are primarily leaf eaters and spend up to 80% of the time resting in the trees, which helps them conserve energy as their food is not always nutritious. The trees also protect the monkeys from the heat during the day.
Belfast Zoo specializes in the care of delicate primate species and is home to the only red howler monkeys in a UK or Irish Zoo. They can be found in our main monkey house, alongside Francois langur and red-backed bearded saki.
Diet - Omnivore
This primate eats a diet of fruit, leaves, flowers, small birds, reptiles and mammals.
They are up to 72cm in length and 6.5kg in weight.
Venezuelan red howler monkeys are found in the western Amazon Basin in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
The Venezuelan red howler monkey is not thought to be in danger of extinction in the wild.
The red howler is hunted by man, for their enlarged hyoid which is used as a drinking cup. They are also hunted for bush meat.
Venezuelan red howler monkeys are not critically in danger of extinction in the near future.
Only four zoos in Europe are home to these beautiful monkeys. There are a total of 61 in zoos worldwide.