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Howler Monkeys in Belize

Are you ready to hear the most terryfying howl in your lifetime?

Best time: all year round

Howler Monkeys
Howler Monkeys
A howler monkey in Belize

The howler monkey is commonly called baboon in Belize. One of the largest monkey species in North and South America is also the loudest primate in Belize. Their scary howls are heard for miles, especially in the mornings, when they serve as a wake-up call for the jungle. Howler monkeys are also quite loud in the evenings and before it rains. Hence mornings and evenings are the best times to spot these curious animals.

Belize is lucky to have one of the largest howler monkey populations in Central America. They can be spotted year-round along the Monkey River, which got its name for a reason. Monkey River tours depart from Placencia Village in southern Belize. Nearby Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is another spot where monkeys strive despite a considerable jaguar population. Finally, loud black howler monkeys are abundant at Community Baboon Sanctuary, located 31 mi (50 km) northwest of Belize City on the Northern Highway, a special conservation area located in the jungle.

Black howler monkeys feed on fruits, flowers, nuts, and other plants. They are hunted by jaguars and large snakes and live in large families of up to ten members, howlers reach about 3 ft (1 m) in length and weigh about 15 lbs (7 kg). They are very fast jumpers and good swimmers. Their lifespan is about 20 years.

Practical info

When is the best time to hear howler monkeys in Belize?

To hear howler monkeys in Belize, you should go out in the mornings or evenings. The monkeys use their howls as a wake-up call and to announce their territory in the mornings. In the evenings, they howl to return to their sleeping area in tall trees. Listening during these times will improve your chances of hearing them. Show more

Where can I see howler monkeys in Belize besides Monkey River?

To see howler monkeys in Belize, you can visit other locations such as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary or the Community Baboon Sanctuary. The Cockscomb Basin is known for being the first jaguar reserve in the world and is situated in Stann Creek, while the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing Village provides a prime opportunity for seeing black howler monkeys. Both locations offer jungle tours with guides who can help you spot these primates. Show more

How do howler monkeys defend against predators like jaguars and large snakes?

Howler monkeys have several defense mechanisms when it comes to natural predators. They flee when they sense danger and hide in dense vegetation. They also use their loud howls to warn other monkeys nearby of the danger. And if caught by a predator, howler monkeys can leap into rivers to evade the threats. Finally, they are well-protected as living in large family groups makes it more difficult for predators to single out an individual monkey. Show more

What is the size of a typical howler monkey family?

A typical howler monkey family in Belize is made up of an alpha male, a number of females and their offspring. Depending on the location, these families may have up to 10 members. They are a close knit group and work together to find food and protect each other. Leadership is provided by the alpha male who protects the family from other monkeys and predators. Show more

Are there any unique behaviors or adaptations of howler monkeys that tourists might observe during their visit?

During their visit to Belize, tourists may observe several unique behaviors or adaptations of howler monkeys. For example, they may see how these primates use their strong tails to hold onto tree branches. Additionally, they may witness them eating fruits, flowers, nuts, and other plants, all while clinging to trees. Howler monkeys are also agile and quick when they move from tree to tree, jumping from branch to branch with precision and speed. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen