By Claudia Langguth
The Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri oerstedii) is the smallest and, in my opinion, the cutest primate in Costa Rica.
There are four different species of monkeys in this country: Squirrel, whitefaced Capuchin, Howler, and Spider. Three of the four species can be observed close to the Sierpe River and the Estero Azul (the Blue Estuary).
The Squirrel Monkey, known by its nickname “Titi,” is a species under threat of extinction mainly because of the loss of habitat and the indiscriminate use of pesticides.
They can be seen from Manuel Antonio to the Osa Peninsula along the southern Pacific coast. The color of their body is brownish orange with a little white and black face. adults reach a length of 40 cm without the tail.
The Squirrel Monkey is kind of noisy; you can hear them whistling and chirping before seeing them.
They usually travel in groups of 10 to 60; these include several adult males, a smaller number of females, and fewer juveniles. The breeding season is in September, and during February and March, you can see the tiny babies on their mothers’ back.
Because they are so small, they could be an easy prey for snakes, birds, and cats.