The Golden-bellied capuchin is a species of New World monkey. They have a distinctive yellow to golden red chest, belly and upper arms. Their face is a light brown and their cap for which the capuchins were first named is a dark brown to black or light brown. There is a band of short hair around the upper part of the face with speckled colouring that contrasts with the darker surrounding areas. The limbs and tail of these monkeys are also darkly coloured.
Golden-bellied capuchins are restricted to the Atlantic forest of south-eastern Bahia, Brazil. They inhabit tropical lowland and submontane moist forest and also dry, semi-deciduous forest patches in the western part of their range.
Golden-bellied capuchins are arboreal and diurnal creatures. They spend most of their time foraging for food. They are very agile and move through trees with a great speed. Golden-bellied capuchins are social and live in small groups. These groups consist of 8-30 individuals and have a social hierarchy. In each groups there is an alpha male and all the rest males within the group are lower ranked. In order to maintain group cohesion capuchins often groom each other. Sometimes when different groups meet, alpha males of each group physically defend their territories, groups and food resources. In each group there is also an alpha female who dominates the other females but she is less dominant than the alpha male. Golden-bellied capuchins are noisy creatires. They produce short and frequent yipping whines, that remind a sound of a newborn pup. Their alarm call is a two-toned clunking and some of their vocalizations remind of bird-like rising whistles.
Golden-bellied capuchins are omnivores. They feed on fruits and berries, seeds, flowers and nectar, stems, nuts and leaves. They will also eat insects, bird eggs, frogs, small reptiles, birds, bats and other small mammals. Thes monkeys wil even consume oysters and crabs that they find in coastal area.
Golden-bellied capuchins have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system. This means that both males and females mate with more than one partner during the breeding season. These animals breed year-round. Females give birth to a single infant after the gestation period that lasts 150-180 days. Females in this speccies reach reproductive maturity at around 4-5 years of age; however, they may start giving birth only at 7-8 years of age. Males in this species attain maturity at 6 to 8 years of age.
Golden-bellied capuchins are threatened by the habitat loss due to logging and wood harvesting. They also suffer from heavy hunting and trapping.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Golden-bellied capuchin is unknown. According to Wikipedia resource, there is an estimated population of the species in the Una Biological Reserve (Bahia) containing 185 individuals. Currently, Golden-bellied capuchins are classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are decreasing.
Golden-bellied capuchins eat fruits and seeds, thus acting as important seed dispersers of their range. This way they contribute to the regeneration of the forest.