The brown spider monkey or variegated spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) is a critically endangered species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from northern Colombia and north-western Venezuela. Its taxonomic history has been confusing, and in the past it has been treated as a subspecies of either the Geoffroy's spider monkey or the white-fronted spider monkey. Like all spider monkeys, it has very long, spindly limbs and a lengthy prehensile tail which can almost be called a fifth limb. The tail is made up of highly flexible, hairless tips with skin grooves which improves grip on tree branches and is adapted to its strictly arboreal lifestyle. The brown spider monkey has a whitish belly and patch on the forehead, and â€“ highly unusual among spider monkeys â€“ the eyes are sometimes blue.
The brown spider monkey is now a highly threatened species, and some populations have already been extirpated. Few remaining populations are of adequate size to be long-term viable. There is ongoing habitat loss within its range, and it has been estimated that 98% of its habitat already is gone. It is also threatened by hunting (in some regions it is the favorite game) and the wild animals trade. The brown spider monkey is among "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates," and is one of only two Neotropical primates (the other being the yellow-tailed woolly monkey) that has been included in this list in both 2006-2008 and 2008-2010.
This petition is made in order to increase worldwide public awareness about this beautiful animal.