White-faced Saki

Scientific name:  Pithecia pithecia
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  South America
Habitat:  Tropical forest
Diet:  Omnivore
Weight:  1,9 - 2,1 kg
Size:  30 - 45 cm
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The White-faced Saki is a primate found throughout Venezuela, the Guianas and northeastern Brazil, where it inhabits areas of tropical rainforest.

They have a marked sexual dimorphism, with the males' fur being black, except for the white area on the face and throat, and the females' fur being greyish brown, with reddish-brown stripes from the eyes to the corners of the mouth. Their long, bushy tail helps them maintain their balance when jumping from one tree to another, but they are not prehensile.

The White-faced Saki is a diurnal and mainly arboreal species, although they sometimes descend to the lower branches to forage for food. Their diet consists of fruit, leaves, honey and sometimes small mammals and birds. 

They live in monogamous pairs or in small family groups of two to five animals. Young animals can stay with their parents for up to one or two years after the birth of the next offspring. After a gestation period of 5 months, a baby is born, which the mother will carry on her hip until it reaches its first month and then it will cling to its mother's back. Vocal communication between the male and female is essential for maintaining territorial boundaries and the couple's social bonds.

The decline in numbers of this species is due to the loss of its habitat to human encroachment and hunting.

The Selwo Marina group is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's (EAZA) European Endangered Species Conservation Programme (EEP).


Conservation Status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


They respond differently depending on the predator they face, either by confronting it or by descending silently into the forest canopy.
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