Cayo Santiago is a small island off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico that’s home to over 1000 free-ranging monkeys. The monkeys have been subjects in scientific research since the 1930s, which makes this site the longest running mammalian field site in the world.
But this invaluable resource wound up directly in the path of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean. On September 20, the island of monkeys received a direct hit from the Category 4 storm.
This unique site and the staff that support it have spearheaded research that cannot be done almost anywhere else. The monkeys roam free on the natural tropical island, but also are so habituated to humans that they can be involved in up-close and personal research--allowing researchers unprecedented access into their daily lives. This microcosm of monkey society has shed light onto questions as diverse as how they think, choose friends, choose mates, and the genetic underpinnings of their complex social behaviors.
This fragile population somehow weathered this awful storm, but we need to act quickly to save them and the important scientific possibilities they represent. Unless we immediately rebuild the infrastructure on the island as well as the lives of the people that support it, this important resource may disappear.
Donate here to help the monkeys and Cayo Santiago research: www.gofundme.com/cayo-santiago-monkeys-maria-relief