Albino howler monkey born

An albino mantled howler monkey has been born on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. Local guide Marlon Gonzales, who was trained as part of the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) project on Ometepe, discovered the albino individual and managed to catch a few photos of it clinging to its non-albino mother in the forest canopy. Marlon has been following and observing the troop for several months.

Howler monkeys are large monkeys which make distinctive loud howls. The grunts and roars which give it its name are produced at dawn and dusk as well as in response to disturbance.

Albinism has been recorded throughout the animal kingdom, but albino individuals are often less able to conceal themselves from predators or their prey, making life tough.

‘It appeared that the troop was protecting this youngster, and its mother was particularly defensive of it’, says Salvadora Morales, FFI’s Ometepe Project Manager.

Howler monkeys often live in groups, which can be as big as 40 individuals. Ometepe Island has a healthy mantled howler monkey population, thanks to the relatively intact forest on its volcanic slopes.

FFI is helping to protect the forest on which howler monkeys and many other species depend by supporting ranger patrols. We are also working to develop ecotourism to ensure the long-term funding of the island’s conservation activities, including training guides and improving infrastructure.