Wild Capuchin Foundation

The Wild Capuchin Foundation was established in 2012 to support the scientific, educational and conservation work of the Lomas Barbudal Monkey project.

The Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project was founded in 1990 by Susan Perry, with the help of Joseph Manson and Julie Gros-Louis, for the purpose of studying social intelligence in the white-faced capuchin, Cebus capucinus. Since that time, the Lomas Barbudal capuchins have become one of the most intensively studied wild monkey populations in the world, with a focus on questions regarding social dynamics, communication, social traditions, development, and life history strategies. This is one of very few long- term studies of primates for which there are detailed observations over the course of the lifetime for large numbers of individuals for which there are also data on genetic relatedness and lifetime reproductive success. Such data are critical for testing hypotheses about the evolution of social strategies.

What is so interesting about capuchins?

Capuchins, a New World primate, are particularly good models for many human traits because they have developed many key characteristics that warrant explanation (e.g. large brain size, social traditions, lethal coalitionary aggression, complex social relationships and social cognition, tool use, food sharing, extensive cooperation) independently of humans and the other great apes. Capuchins are skilled extractive foragers, and social influence guides their adoption of particular foraging strategies. White-faced capuchins are known particularly for their propensity to develop unique, culturally variable bond-testing rituals.

The video Family Trees, created by Keith Heyward, documents some of the findings of the Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project:

Wild Capuchin Foundation Mission

The Wild Capuchin Foundation is a California nonprofit corporation (EIN #45-4876149) and is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Wild Capuchin Foundation funds the following activities:
  • scientific research on wild capuchin monkeys
  • training of scientists of all ages in the skills needed to study primate behavior, ecology and conservation
  • activities and products designed to educate the general public about the natural history of capuchins and their habitats
  • conservation of capuchin monkey habitat, with emphasis on the tropical dry forest that is home to the Lomas Barbudal population

[click here for more detailed mission statement and history]