Protecting Howler Monkeys from Unguarded Power Lines

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monkey sitting on branch

Howler monkeys are one of the most remarkable animals in South America. As the largest New World monkeys, howlers have a body length of 22 to 36 inches and a tail that can grow up to five times that length. Howlers use their tails to help them navigate the forest canopy that they call home.

These arboreal monkeys normally travel from treetop to treetop using vines along with their arms and tails. However, due to deforestation in some areas, sometimes the rainforest isn't dense enough for this mode of travel. This often leaves troops of howlers without a vine to swing from in their ongoing search for food. In those cases, they frequently turn to something that looks similar but which is all too often deadly: power lines.

Dangers of Uninsulated Power Lines

Unfortunately, electrocution by power lines and transformers is the most frequent cause of howler monkey deaths. In Costa Rica alone, hundreds of them die or are severely injured every year because of uninsulated transformers and power lines. When the monkeys touch two live wires, or nearly any part of a transformer, electricity surges through their bodies, causing severe burns or death.

If other members of the troop rush to the monkey’s aid, the results can be devastating and result in several deaths. Female howlers often have a baby in their arms or riding on their back. The electricity may not kill the baby because it isn't in direct contact with the source, but even if it survives it will suffer burns on any part of its body that was in contact with its dying mother. Such burns can significantly reduce a howler's normal life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

How Critter Guard Can Help

At Critter Guard, our humane products are made to help protect wildlife from dangerous power lines, transformers, and utility poles. Our Line Guard and Pole Guard systems prevent howler monkeys and other wildlife’s’ access to uninsulated power lines, protecting both the animal and our power. The two free-spinning jump barrier wheels and five independently spinning rollers on our Line Guards prevent climbing and jumping animals like monkeys and squirrels from accessing electrical lines. Tough, durable Pole Guards prevent animals from climbing power poles like they were trees. Between the two products, animals like howler monkeys are kept away from danger and vital electrical systems are protected. We call that a win-win situation! To learn more about our internationally sold products, contact us today!

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