Costa Rica’s Central Pacific region, and particularly the area around Manuel Antonio National Park, has been undergoing an intense process of economic development and land use change (e.g. monoculture and unplanned urban expansion) over the last fifteen years. A disturbing result of these changes is the very serious environmental degradation of the region and of Manuel Antonio National Park. The most alarming indicator of the ecological future of the region is the situation faced by the mono tití, an indicator of environmental degradation of Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Region. Other primates found within the range of this threatened subspecies include the white-throated capuchin (Cebus capucinus), mantled howler (Alouatta palliata) and Central American spider monkey (Ateles g. geoffroyi).
Conservation of the fauna populations should be considered a priority and their natural dispersal should be augmented and monitored closely. In order to augment dispersal, efforts must focus on developing natural forest corridors through or around oil palm plantations and forest gaps.
In 2001 by the Titi Conservation Alliance created Naranjo River Biological Corridor has been conceived to create natural migration of isolated squirrel monkey troops and other tropical forest wildlife species between Manuel Antonio National Park, Nara Hills Protected Zone and Los Santos Forest Reserve. So far, the project has increased forest cover in approximately 35% through areas of massive plantation and degraded habitats, helping to connect and augment fragmented populations to ultimately ensure the long-term genetic health of the species.
In addition to helping the threatened squirrel monkeys, the biological corridor provides habitat for other tropical forest wildlife species along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, and protects three vital watersheds, safe havens for biodiversity.