The initial objective of the project was the conservation of the San Martin titi monkey Plecturocebus oenanthe and its habitat. This species of titi monkey, locally known as mono tocón, is one of the three endemic primate species of Peru and can only be found in the San Martín region northeastern Peru.
Proyecto Mono Tocón is supported by several zoos and conservation organisations, and its conservation project is adopted by the Coppery titi monkey Plecturocebus cupreus captive breeding programme of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums EAZA. It is also considered one of the reference conservation projects for the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums WAZA.
Given the lack of information on the species, the first steps of the project have focused on the investigation of the distribution range of the San Martin titi monkey. With the data obtained about its habitat and its threats, a conservation strategy was developed and different measures were executed in the following years.
Until 2007, few studies had been carried out on this primate species and there were many unknowns. However, the little information collected resulted in classifying this species as endemic to the San Martin Region and the degree of deforestation in the area suggested that the species could be in serious danger of extinction.
Parallel to the research carried out, the Mono Tocón Project launched its Environmental Education Project that focused its actions within the area of influence of the conservation projects initiated for the protection of the species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN has determined, thanks to the data provided by the Mono Tocón Project, that the species is Critically Endangered CR.