Bogota, Colombia – A new Amazon monkey species has been discovered in Colombia, and researchers said Thursday they believe the small, isolated population is at risk due to the cutting of forests that are its home.
The find was announced by Conservation International, a group that helped finance the research in remote rain forests that until recently were considered too dangerous for scientific work due to the presence of leftist rebels.
A team of researchers from the National University of Colombia observed 13 groups of the new species – dubbed the Caqueta titi monkey because it was found in the southern state of Caqueta, near Peru.
The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Primate Conservation, believe the species may be critically endangered. They estimate less than 250 of the monkeys exist and say the felling of forest for agriculture threatens their habitat.
“It’s a spectacular finding,” said Jeffrey French, a biology and psychology professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha who works with primates in the Amazon in Brazil.
Marines, copters bringing in aid
Sohbatpur, Pakistan – A shipload of U.S. Marines and helicopters arrived to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan on Thursday, but the prime minister told the Associated Press his country needs more international help to cope with one of the worst natural disasters in its history.
The United Nations warned the crisis was far from over, saying dams in Sindh province could still burst in the coming days. More rain fell around the country, and monsoon season is forecast to last several weeks still.
The United States has pledged $71 million in emergency assistance to the country, which is key in the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban as well as stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan. It has also deployed the military to help, as it often does after major disasters.
The USS Peleliu arrived off the coast near Karachi on Thursday along with helicopters and about 1,000 Marines.
The helicopters will fly to flood-hit areas and rescue stranded people and deliver food and other supplies.