Promoting public support for northern muriqui conservation and yellow fever prevention

Mariane Kaizer

Caparaó National Park is a priority area for the critically endangered northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) conservation, and the habitat for other four threatened primate species. In our previous CLP-funded project, we found dozen of brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba) have died of yellow fever – infectious disease transmitted by a mosquito-borne virus that mainly affects monkeys and humans - in the park. Although no muriqui have found died of the disease in the Caparaó National Park, the danger is real. Since late 2016, an epidemic of yellow fever has spread in the Brazil’s Atlantic forest region, challenging health and primate conservation. The disease caused, at least, five thousand primate’s deaths in Brazil, including 11% of muriqui population at Caratinga Biological Reserve. Most of local people have lack of knowledge about the disease and believe that primates are responsible for its transmission, increasing the threats to primate that can be killed for fear. In view of this framework, local stakeholders play an important role in the success of muriqui conservation at Caparaó National Parkand their engagement is more urgent than ever. Through education and outreach activities, we aim increase public awareness and promote human behaviours that support efforts for the muriquis conservation in long-term.