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As modern primate studies began to emerge, increasing interest in the establishment of an old-world monkey colony in the Western Hemisphere started to arise among primatologists. One of the main objectives of such a facility was to establish a station that allowed the study of noninvasive, social behavior and population-level processes of primates in the field. In 1938, the Markle Foundation funded the School of Tropical Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico for the establishment of the Cayo Santiago free-ranging rhesus macaque colony, which consisted of releasing Indian rhesus monkeys onto the island of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico.

Under the administration of the University of Puerto Rico, a resumption of the visual population census begun in the late 1950’s, creating the foundation for significant contributions to the fields of primatology and biology, setting the stage for one of the most extensive longitudinal demographic databases in the world. In the 1970’s the UPR-School of Medicine founded the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC), which currently administers the Cayo Santiago Field Station (CSFS). Today, the CPRC and its facilities emerged as unique sites for the study of not only primates but also for the study of fundamental biological hypotheses.

The animal care program of the CPRC is in full compliance with the directives established by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). It is also monitored by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the UPR-MSC and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) of the USDA. The CPRC is fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). "Rhesus Monkeys of Santiago Island, Puerto Rico" (
by Schwartz, Charles Walsh; Koford, Carl B; National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindess.
Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology