Protecting the San Martin Titi Monkey

Project Cost: $32,900

Funding Raised: $32,900

$6.01 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)
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Located in northern Peru, the San Martin region is subject to some of the nation’s highest rates of deforestation. Its rainforests, which mantle the eastern foothills of the Andes, have been reduced by 80 percent over the past 25 years.

Much of this forest loss stems from the demands of a growing agricultural economy, which has increased substantially from an influx of highland immigrants.

Such destruction has been devastating for local wildlife, especially for the San Martin Titi Monkey, considered Peru’s most imperiled primate. In addition to being hunted for meat and sold on the black market, the primate has lost over half its original range. Making matters worse, its remaining habitat has yet to be adequately protected.

Rainforest Trust is working with local partner Proyecto Mono Tocón to create the Tamushal Community Conservation Area, which will protect 10,944 acres of tropical rainforest habitat for the San Martin Titi Monkey. While protecting a viable population of the primate, the new protected area will safeguard a myriad of Amazon species and protect ecosystem services for rural communities in the San Martin department.

Fast Facts

San Martin Region, Peru

10,944 acres

Key Species
San Martin Titi Monkey (CR), White-bellied Spider Monkey (EN), South American Tapir (VU), Grey Tinamou (VU), Mishana Tyrannulet (VU)

Lowland tropical rainforest

Deforestation, agricultural expansion, hunting

Create the Tamushal Community Conservation Area

Local Partner
Proyecto Mono Tocón

Total Cost of Project

Financial Need

Price Per Acre


Found only along the upper Rio Mayo valley and adjacent areas in north-central Peru, the San Martin Titi Monkey is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.

Proyecto Mono Tocón estimates that Tamushul Community Conservation Area would protect 13-15 percent of the primate’s global population. Within its limited range, the small social monkey has been recorded in a variety of forest habitats, including secondary forests, bamboo stands and palm groves. However, it is most frequently found near riverine habitats and seasonally flooded forests. These areas, easily accessible by boat, are the most prone to logging and deforestation. Additionally, the Endangered White-bellied Spider Monkey is also found in the region. Despite deforestation of habitat, the presence of large mammals, such as the South American Tapir, White-lipped Peccary, and Jaguar, indicate high levels of forest health. In addition, many endemic bird species inhabit the forests of the San Martin Region, such as the Mishana Tyrannulet and Huallaga Tanager, as well as threatened species like the Grey Tinamou. Furthermore, the area’s tropical wet forests hold much plant biodiversity, including an impressive variety of trees, lianas, ferns and epiphyte species. Several of these species, such as the Ceiba tree, represent rare hardwoods that are protected by Peruvian law.


Natural areas in the San Martin region have been significantly impacted in recent years by agricultural expansion. This process has been fueled by the arrival of highland immigrants who have cleared large swaths of forest to create new farmland.

After several years of farming, however, the region’s poor soils become exhausted, and farmers find themselves needing to repeat the process by moving to a new location. The resulting habitat loss, however, is not the only challenge to local wildlife. Hunting pressures also pose a grave threat for many species, the San Martin Titi Monkey among them. Threats will continue to mount in the future as demands on regional resources grow. In addition to illegal logging, it is expected that challenges from mining, gas and oil operations will also grow.


The nearest community to the proposed reserve is Nuevo Chimbote.

The village is accessible from Jaujui, the regional capital, only after a ten-hour journey by boat and foot. Residents are primarily migrant farmers from Peru’s highlands who have arrived in search of new economic opportunities. These farmers depend upon the production of cocoa, corn, banana and coffee cultivation.


To protect the San Martin Titi Monkey and the tropical forests that it needs to survive, Rainforest Trust is working with local partner Proyecto Mono Tocón to create the 5,310-acre Tamushal Community Conservation Area.

Further protection will be added by the creation of a 5,634-acre buffer zone around the new project area. This buffer area will offer sustainable agroforestry opportunities for the local community while supplementing food resources available to the San Martin Titi Monkey and providing a corridor for local wildlife. The total size of the protected area and buffer zone will be 10,944 acres. The participation and support of the local community is essential for the full success of this project, and Proyecto Mono Tocón is working to ensure this occurs. Once established, the new protected area will be managed with the help of a community organization. In addition, an awareness campaign led by Proyecto Mono Tocón will be implemented to educate people about the importance of the region’s biodiversity. As part of the campaign, the San Martin Titi Monkey will be highlighted as a flagship species representative of a healthy ecosystem for the region. Finally, local communities will be trained in sustainable farming and management of their forest lands. By adopting agroforestry and sustainable farming practices, farmers will be able to improve soil fertility and crop yields without further damaging surrounding forests.