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Range DescriptionAlouatta belzebul occurs in the lower Amazon, states of Amap, Par and Maranho and in north-east Brazil, in the Atlantic forest of the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Piau, Pernambucoo, Paraiba and Alagoas. It occurs in a small area of southern Amap and on the islands of Maraj and Caviana in the Amazon estuary. It is limited to the east of the rios Xingu and Iriri. The range limits of Alouatta discolor and A. belzebul south along the lower Amazon are poorly understood and confused. Bonvicino et al. (1989) attributed the howler monkeys on Marajo and the other islands of the Amazon estuary to the form discolor, but Fernandes (1994) subsequently identified the howlers on the islands of Maraj, Caviana and Mexiana as A. belzebul (Gurup, he found, was occupied by Alouatta macconelli). Gregorin (2006), likewise identified A. belzebul as the howler occupying Marajo, Caviana and Mexiana. Bonvicino et al. (1989) also identified a howler from the Rio Pracupy, Portel (their locality number 35) just south of the estuary as A. discolor. Ferrari and Lopes (1996) suggested, and Gregorin (2006) confirmed, its identity as A. belzebul, and not A. discolor. This would mean that discolor would be confined to a narrow strip to the immediate south of the Rio Amazonas extending west from Gurup, across the Xingu.
Coimbra-Filho et al. (1995) argued that A. belzebul once occurred throughout the north-east (except the coastal populations now ascribed to A. ululata) as far as the left (north) bank of the Rio So Francisco. Neiva and Penna (1916) recorded the species on southern Piaui at the beginning of the early 20th century (see Coimbra-Filho et al. 1995). They have been eliminated from a large part of this range by hunting and the almost total elimination of their forests (Coimbra-Filho and Cmara 1996).