The Central American squirrel monkey weighs up to about 1 kg (2.2 lb). It is found in primary and secondary forests and cultivated areas. Disturbed habitats are advantageous because of their greater supply of preferred food - insects (such as grasshoppers) and fruit. The Central American squirrel monkey is arboreal and diurnal. It rarely travels on the ground and is most active in the morning and late afternoon.
Central American squirrel monkeys have large group sizes (40 - 70 individuals) in continuous forest. They are non-aggressive and egalitarian - neither males nor females appear to be dominant. Females are usually the ones who disperse to another troop.
The Central American squirrel monkey has always been restricted to the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica and Panama. By 1983, the Central American squirrel monkey had already declined drastically due to clearing of forests. Currently, deforestation and habitat fragmentation due to agriculture and tourism development are the major causes of decline. Insecticide spraying, the pet trade and electrocution from electric power lines have also adversely affected these squirrel monkeys. or more than a decade, it was thought to have become extinct in Panama until a small population was discovered in 1996. They are also known as red backed squirrel monkeys and mono titis. They are common in Manuel Antonio National Park; however, the species is quickly becoming extinct.