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Yellow-breasted capuchin

Cebus xanthosternos

The Yellow-breasted capuchin has lost over 80 percent of its population during the past 50 years. It is estimated that only about 300 individuals survive in the wild.

Interesting fact: The name capuchin is derived from the word “Capuche” which was the skull cap worn by Franciscan monks.

Find out more...range_map_size_placeholder_capuchins.jpg

Habitat & threats

Primary and secondary rain forest. Deforestation within their limited range makes it hard for isolated groups of capuchins to disperse. The Yellow-breasted capuchin is also trapped for the pet trade and hunted for meat by local people.



Their diet is predominantly made up of fruit, leaves and seeds. Only a small part of their natural diet is made up of live prey but they will spend time hunting for insects, birds and eggs.


Breeding and social dynamics

They live in multi male and female groups with one male being dominant to all others. These capuchins stay in touch by communicating vocally with each other using barks, growls, screams, whistles and chattering. Youngsters take 12 months to wean.



This species is considered to be among the rarest South American primates. Shaldon Wildlife Trust supports in-situ research in the forests of Brazil studying their behaviour and biology. Part of a managed European breeding programme.