Yellow-breasted Capuchin

(Cebus xanthosternos)


Yellow-breasted Capuchin IUCN CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (CR)


Facts about this animal

Male yellow-breasted capuchins have a body-weight of 3.5 to 3.9 kgs, females are somewhat smaller and weigh 2.5-3 kgs.


Several males and females form a group. Males reach sexual maturity at 6-8 years, females at 4-5 years. After a pregnancy of about 150 days, the female gives birth to a single young which weighs is 250-290 g. Births may occur at any time of the year. The maximum life span exceeds 30 years.


Yellow-breasted capuchins eat fruit, leaves, insects, birds' eggs, birds and small mammals.

Did you know?
That the name "capuchin" comes from the appearance of a black skullcap? Capuce is a French word for a skullcap. The Capuchin Monkey's hair is very similar to the cowl or capuche worn by Franciscan monks.


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Cebus xanthosternos
Name (English) Yellow-breasted Capuchin
Name (French) Capucin à poitrine jaune
Name (German) Gelbbrustkapuzineräffchen
Name (Spanish) Capuchino de pecho amarillo
Local names Brazil: Macaco-Prego-do-Peito-Amarelo
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Edinburgh Zoo



Range Brazil
Habitat Atlantic coastal rainforest
Wild population Density in Una, Bahia, 0.72 groups / km ² or 10.87 individual / km ² (1982) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 96 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Yellow-breasted Capuchin


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Edinburgh Zoo

Why do zoos keep this animal

The yellow-breasted capuchins are now only found in a very restricted area of the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, one of the richest and most rapidly disappearing ecosystems in the world. Their population is declining drastically not only because of forest destruction, but also because of hunting. Only 2% of their original tropical rainforest habitat remains and they are one of the top 25 most endangered primates in the world.


Zoos therefore keep yellow-breasted capuchins primarily for conservation breeding with a view of establishing a long-term viable ex situ population. Zoos participating in the programme also help to fund research, which aims to understand the ecology and behaviour of yellow-breasted capuchins in the wild through radio-telemetry, gathering information necessary for this species's conservation.


Other ongoing projects, to try and prevent its extinction, include working together with the Brazilian Government and farmers to increase the number of protected areas for the species; helping to organise an ex situ breeding programme able to produce animals which could one day be released into protected forests in the wild; and producing educational material for the local population.