Hope for a Rare Monkey

December 22, 2017

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Photo Credit: ©Tim R.B. Davenport

A WCS team recently completed the first-ever range-wide population census of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey, revealing good news and bad news for this endangered primate found only on the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of East Africa.

The good news: the population of these monkeys is three times higher than previously thought (over 5,800). And there are many more monkeys living within protected areas than outside of them.

The bad news is that survivorship among young animals is very low, the species is now extinct in four areas, the forest habitat on which these primates depend is rapidly being cleared for agriculture and tourism development projects, and hunting is common.

The study's authors recommend creating a new protected area to further safeguard the Zanzibar red colobus monkey, as well as increasing primate and forest tourism operations. The team has also suggested making the monkey the official national animal of Zanzibar.

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