Woolly monkeys Lagothrix spp are difficult to maintain and breed successfully. These species are threatened in the wild and conservationists need to be aware of their plight in captivity if attempts to sustain the species are ultimately required. Written survey reports, International Species Information System record analysis and Woolly monkey studbook record analysis were completed to gather data on the survivability of the Woolly monkey population in captivity from 1990 to 2005. The Woolly monkey population decreased by 11% and the number of institutions holding these species also decreased. In addition, the birth to death ratio is negatively inverted (0·65:1·00). This is most pronounced in ♀♀ (0·47:1·00). The primary causes of death were infant mortality and complications during pregnancy, heart and hypertension disease, and bacterial and protozoan disease. The primary known causes of death in Woolly monkeys and both the genetic and nutritional relationship to reproductive success need further examination to conserve these species in both captivity and the wild.