The Black Howler Monkey of Belize
The Black Howler Monkey, known as the “baboon” in Belize, is the largest monkey in Belize and one of the largest in the Americas. Throughout most of its range, the Howler Monkey is endangered from hunting and habitat destruction. Fortunately, Belize has a healthy population of these loudest of primates.
Black howler monkeys live in troops of between 4 and 8 members. Each troop has its own territory in which it feeds and lives. The size of the territory depends on the size of the troop, ranging from 3 to 25 acres. Baboons defend this territory from other troops through the use of their voices. The howling is one of the loudest animal sounds in the tropical forest of Belize.
Howler monkeys are vegetarians, feeding on flowers, fruits and leaves. Within Belize, a special community based conservation organization has protected land along the Belize River for the Howler, ensuring that their food trees are not destroyed to make way for pasture. This “Community Baboon Sanctuary” has supplied numerous animals for translocation throughout Belize, most successfully within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.