The black spider monkey ranges throughout Central and South America, is the largest primate in the New World and is listed as vulnerable or endangered as of 2015. The black spider monkey is endangered due to habitat loss from rain forest destruction.
The black spider monkey is native to the tropical rain forests and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and northern Brazil. It plays an important role in the local ecosystem by dispersing the seeds from fruits and plants on which it feeds. As one of the largest primates in North and South America, it reaches up to 24 inches high and 24 inches long with an additional 32 inches for the tail and weighs between 15 and 19 pounds. The prehensile tail aids the monkey as it sits, climbs and forages for food.
The spider monkey only reproduces once every three to four years. It takes four years for young to reach sexual maturity and start reproducing as well. This slow reproduction cycle, along with hunting and habitat loss, has damaged the population. From 1970 to 2015, the black spider monkey has experienced a population decrease of 30 percent. The monkey often refuses to settle in disturbed or damaged forests, limiting its range.