Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monkeys at Breakfast
I don't suppose it is too often that you can dine with monkeys ... but that was apparently almost the case when good friend Jim Wright snapped this photo from the Chan Chich Lodge veranda over breakfast recently. He and Patty were here with birding friends that we've come to enjoy seeing on an annual basis.
Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) thrive in closed-canopy tropical forests which provide arboreal pathways for their foraging activities. Unlike the howler monkeys that are known to come to the ground, cross roads, swim rivers and otherwise move about in a "disturbed" landscape, the spiders require contiguous tropical forest for their wide-ranging lifestyles. With just a little thought, you realize that this is exactly the sort of habitat under pressure elsewhere as forests are cleared for agriculture or other human activities. Not so in Gallon Jug.
By the way, if the name "Jim Wright" sounds familiar, it is because he is the author of "Jungle of the Maya" which I posted about in January 2010. It's a great book, I'd encourage everyone with an interest in tropical forests here, to check it out. Chan Chich Lodge, Gallon Jug Estate, and the Selva Maya -- Maya Forest -- are the focus.