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Yellow-breasted capuchin


Yellow-breasted capuchin

Yellow-breasted Capuchin

Here at Edinburgh Zoo, we have small group yellow-breasted capuchins consisting of five females and four males.

Location in the Zoo

They can be found in the Monkey House

Breeding Programme Category:

The yellow-breasted capuchins are part of the European Endangered Species programme. 

In the Wild

Yellow-breasted capuchins (Cebus apella xanthosternos) are highly social and intelligent.  They are restricted to the very fragmented Atlantic rainforest in Brazil. They are mostly brown and black in colour; however, from their upper arms and down across the chest and stomach they are covered in golden yellow fur—hence their name.

Although similar in appearance, males of this species are larger than females.   Yellow-breasted capuchins live in groups of up to thirty individuals made up of both males and females.  Spending the majority of their time in the trees, these capuchins stay in touch by communicating vocally with each other using barks, growls, screams, whistles and chattering.

Yellow breasted capuchins have a mixed diet of chicks, eggs, flowers, fruit, insects, leaves, nectar, nuts, seeds, shoots, and spiders. To break the shells of nuts, they will smash two together or strike them against branches.

Yellow-breasted capuchins have lost over 80 percent of their population over the past 48 years.  It is estimated that only about 300 individuals survive in the wild, giving the yellow-breasted capuchin an unenviable place in the top 25 most endangered primates in the world.  This is due to being hunted by humans as well as extensive habitat loss throughout its range.

Find out more


Not Endangered NE
Data Deficient DD
Least Concern LC
Near Threatened NT
Vulnerable VU
Endangered EN
Critically Endangered CR
Extinct in the wild EW
Extinct EX

Critically Endangered

For more info on classifications visit


Relative to 6ft (2m) man Relative to 6ft (2m) man


Population is decreasing, IUCN July 2008


  • Rainforests



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