White-faced saki

Common Name: White-faced saki

Scientific Name: Pithecia pithecia

 Within Life Among the Trees, behind Marwell Hall and mixed with our silvery marmosets and golden headed lion tamarins.

White-faced sakis are able to travel between vertical tree trunks by leaping and clinging on to the trunks.

These monkeys spend most of their time moving and searching for food in the lower levels of the forest.

Sakis tend to have a daily routine which involves foraging for food in the early part of the day, resting and socialising in the middle of the day when it is hottest, then foraging again in the afternoon.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Least Concern

  • Size

    Head to body: Males 33–39.5 cm; females 32.3–41.5 cm

  • Weight

    1.4–1.7 kg

  • Gestation

    163-76 days

  • Young

    1

  • Life span

    Up to 35 years

In the wild

Sakis mainly eat seeds and leaves, but also fruit, leaves, fungi and insects. They have very long canine teeth which they use to pierce and split open tough fruits to get to the nuts or seeds inside.

White-faced sakis are found in Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil.  They live in a large variety of forest habitats including flooded forests, humid forests and dry forests.  They are adaptable and able to live in secondary forests which have been disturbed by humans.

These monkeys usually live in extended family groups of between two and twelve individuals. Up to three females in a group may be pregnant at the same time. The mothers carry their babies for the first three months, and stop carrying them altogether by five months.  Young from previous years may help to look after the young.

White-faced sakis face predation from a number of species. Raptors such as harpy eagles are the main threat, but a range of other predators are also known to prey on them, including boa constrictors, ocelots and tayras. If a predator is spotted, the sakis will give an alarm call and the whole group will freeze or take cover.

This species is widespread and found in many different types of habitat, so they are not a conservation concern. They are also found in many protected areas and are on CITES Appendix II, which means that trade in this species or any of its parts is restricted.

Meet Marwell's White-faced saki

Meet Marwell's White-faced saki

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