The Colombian squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus albigena), endemic to central Colombia, is classified as Near Threatened on the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its geographic distribution is restricted to a small area of the Colombian Llanos, where there are major human impacts, involving the loss, fragmentation and degradation of its forests due particularly to agricultural conversion, and this species' persecution for the pet trade. Here we review its status, and argue that it is threatened and that it be considered as Vulnerable (VU) on future iterations of the IUCN Red List. We suggest the possibility, based on comparative studies of 1140 base pairs of the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene of 38 Saimiri specimens of nine different taxa, that the Colombian taxa could be considered subspecies of Saimiri cassiquiarensis (not S. sciureus as is currently believed), all showing similar haplotypes that are different from Saimiri sciureus sciureus of the eastern Amazon. An alternative arrangement could place the three Colombian taxa north of the Río Amazonas—albigena, macrodon, and cassiquiarensis—as full species.
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