ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rainforest's Endangered Monkeys

Updated on March 21, 2022
angela_michelle profile image

Angela, an animal lover, has a passion for learning and understanding God's creatures. As a born teacher, she enjoys sharing her knowledge.


Every year, the rainforest dwindles a little more. Unfortunately, as the rainforest disappears, so do the animals that live there, causing many of these animals to become extinct every day. When something happens to a member of the food chain, all the things on both ends are affected, including the plants and trees, not just the animals in the rainforest. Here are some of the top culprits for the shrinking of the rainforest:

  • Pollution
  • Introduction of exotic species
  • Excessive hunting and fishing
  • Development of new human communities close to the rainforest
  • Excessive and illegal logging
  • Poorly timed or placed fires (beneficial in its normal cycle)

So what animals are going extinct in the rainforest? Many tapirs, cats, birds, and, as listed below, many primates.

Level of Endangerment
Least Concern
Conservation Dependent
If they have been on the list of threatened animals in last five years, but appear stable.
Near Threatened
Does not currently qualify for threatened status, but factors indicate they could become in the near future.
Likely to become endangered if things affecting its survival do not improve.
Likely to become extinct if nothing changes.
Critically Endangered
Possibly extinct or extinct in wild, but needs more data. Or not enough to continue in the wild.
Extinct in the Wild
None known species in the wild for a long period of time.
None found in wild or captivity.
Orangatans are one of the few creatures with a sense of self. They recognize themselves in mirrors.
Orangatans are one of the few creatures with a sense of self. They recognize themselves in mirrors. | Source

Sumatran Orangutans: Critically Endangered

Sumatran orangutans are the most endangered of all the ape species. There are only 6,500 left in the wild. Today, most of them live in forests outside of protected parks and reserves.

The Sumatran orangutan is native to the north end of Sumatra. They are tree dwellers, so much so that the females never walk on the ground, making them the largest tree-living mammal on earth. Every day, each orangutan builds a nest in a tree to sleep. Since they are taught by their mothers how to make a nest, each community makes it a little different. One group actually will line their nests with leaves that repel insects. They prefer to live in mountainous regions but stay below 3,300 feet elevation.

Orangutans are solitary mammals requiring large amounts of land, although females occasionally socialize with neighboring females. Females require 6 square miles of land, while males require a much larger territory. Unfortunately, the more ground they need, the more limited a species is to where they can live. Therefore, the less amount of rainforest available, the fewer orangutans that can live in the wild.

Chimpanzees use tools, which is a trait only known to some primates and humans.
Chimpanzees use tools, which is a trait only known to some primates and humans. | Source

Chimpanzees - Endangered

Chimpanzees live as a community in African rainforests, grasslands, and woodlands. As many as four or five dozens may live together at one time. They usually sleep in trees where they build nests of leaves and spend most of their waking time swinging from tree to tree and eating fruits, plants, insects, and sometimes eggs or meat. Although they are primarily tree-dwellers, they walk efficiently both upright and on all fours where they do knuckle-walking.

Chimpanzees, along with many other ape species, use tools in their everyday lives. Chimpanzees will smash nuts with stones and use sticks to reach insects. They are also able to learn some basic human sign language.

They generally grow about 4 to 5.5 feet tall, weighing 70 to 130 pounds. They can live up to 45 years in the wild. Although, much like most rainforest creatures, their greatest enemy is the destruction of their habitat.

Due to its massive size, it's often referred to as the great ape.
Due to its massive size, it's often referred to as the great ape. | Source

Gorillas: Endangered

Gorillas are another endangered animal found in the rainforest. They are also known as the great ape due to their massive size and strength and can bench an impressive 4,600 pounds! They are usually dark in color, with black fur covering everything except their face, hands, and rear.

The gorilla has many of the same threats as other primates, although unlike many of the others, the great ape's decline began two hundred years ago when hunters began using guns to shoot. The hunters sought out the gorilla due to its large size, which would feed many people. Unfortunately, there are still many who hunt the gorilla for meat today. Now they only live along the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. Only 200 to 300 live in the wild today.


Golden Lion Tamarins: Endangered

Golden lion tamarins get their name due to the mane around their heads like a lion. There are four species of lion tamarins, golden lion tamarins being the most critically endangered. They can live as long as fifteen years in the wild and only weigh 14 to 29 ounces, with their body 7.5 to 8.75 inches long. The tail is longer at 10.25 to 13.5 inches.

Tamarins live primarily in trees, where they will carry their young on their back as they swing from tree to tree. They live in social groups so that both males and females take on primary caregiving roles with the young. Usually, a pregnant tamarin will give birth to twins.

They reside naturally along the Atlantic coast in Brazil, where the rainforest is lush. Due to the delogging of the rainforest, their natural resources limit where they can live. As a result, the golden lion tamarin monkey's population is dwindling.


Spider Monkey: Vulnerable

Spider monkeys live in both Central and South America, where they form a group of up to three dozen animals. Although while they are sleeping, they make smaller groups of six or fewer monkeys. They can live up to twenty-two years in the wild. They are only 13 pounds and range from 14-26 inches tall without their tails.

They live most of their lives up in the treetops, where they will forage for food in small groups. They often eat fruits, nuts, trees, bird eggs, and spiders. They have long slim arms and legs without thumbs, making them very agile. Since they are social creatures, they have many noises to communicate with one another. Most are very loud, like screeching or barking, although they have many other sounds.

Like all other rainforest creatures, deforestation harms them, although they have another threat. The indigenous people often hunt spider monkeys for food. These two things, in combination, have caused their numbers to dwindle.

Lemurs communicate through smells that they secrete.
Lemurs communicate through smells that they secrete. | Source

Ring-Tailed Lemurs: Only Found in Southern Madagascar

Ring-tailed lemurs are native to the Island of Madagascar and noted for the long, beautifully striped, black, and whitetail. Despite their long tails, they cannot use their tails like many other primates. Fortunately, they are very agile with their hands and feet, making them excellent climbers.

Ring-tailed lemurs are social creatures, living in groups of half a dozen to thirty lemurs as a troop. They communicate with one another through a unique odor. The males will try to dominate one another by outstinking each other. They will cover their long tails with this smelly secretion, then wave their tails to determine which male lemur is the most powerful. Despite this display of dominance amongst the males, a dominant female guides a troop.

Like their primate cousins, they are primarily endangered because the sparse, dry forest where they live is becoming limited.

Do you believe in man-made global warming?

See results

Bonobo: Endangered

Bonobos and chimpanzees are so similar they were not considered separate species until 1929. Due to their close similarity, bonobos are sometimes called pygmy chimpanzees because they are smaller and thinner than chimps and slightly darker. Both species share 98.7% of their DNA with us, making them humans' closest relatives. Bonobos are more peaceful than chimpanzee groups and are led by the females in the group. Although if they meet another bonobo group, they will engage in heated fighting.

They mainly live in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a forest south of the Congo River. Unfortunately, due to civil unrest in the area, scientists have not been able to study them very well. However, bonobo poaching occurs since their body parts are used in medicine because it is believed to give sexual vigor, as well as for sport due to their meat. Since they are more peaceable, many will try to take them as pets.

How Can You Save the Rainforest?

Many beautiful animals call the rainforest home; these primates are just a few. We need to make sure that we are doing our best to preserve the forests by using as little of the resources as we can. We need to analyze the resources we must use to analyze whether we can recycle, reduce, or reuse these. Although you may not be able to save the rainforest directly, you can save the ecosystem in your area by:

  • Plant trees in otherwise barren areas.
  • Support companies that are eco-friendly by using their products.
  • Educate others on how to help the environment.
  • Reduce your wood consumption.
  • Reduce your oil consumption.
  • Hold businesses accountable that are wasteful.


  • "Endangered Species Conservation." WWF. Accessed April 09, 2012.
  • "Mammals – Science Articles." Wild Mammals Science Articles Index - Current Results. Accessed April 09, 2012.
  • "National Geographic." Animals. Accessed April 09, 2018.
  • Woodhouse, Graeme. TerraNature | Terra Nature Fund - Saving New Zealand Biodiversity. Accessed April 09, 2012.

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)