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Primate Conservation

Coordinators:  Dean Anderson and Nancy Ruggeri, Department of Zoology,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The World's Top 25 Most Endangered Primates- 2002

A recent report released by Conservation International (CI) and the Primate Specialist
Group of IUCN was finalized at the 2002 International Primatological Society meetings
in Beijing. It is a revision of their previously released "The World's Top 25 most Endangered Primates",
which indicates that about one out of every three primate species is currently
threatened with extinction.  This updated version suggests that Indonesia now exceeds
Madagascar and Brazil for the country with the most endangered primates.  However,
Madagascar, identified as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, has 10 critically endangered
species, and 21 endangered species.  For the full report, please refer to the link at the bottom
of this message.

Each week, we will be featuring one of the 25 primate species in peril.  This is being
done in conjunction with Conservation International.  The fact sheets are compiled by
Sean Flannery at the WPRC Library and Information Service.

Tana River Mangabey and Tana River Red Colobus
Cercocebus galeritus galeritus and Procolobus rufomitratus

Photo Link:
The gallery forests of Kenya's lower Tana River are home to two severely threatened primates, the Tana River mangabey and the Tana River red colobus. Along with six other primate species, they inhabit a 60-kilometer stretch of forest on both sides of the river, from Nkanjonja to Mitapani. While the other monkeys have geographically broader distributions, the mangabey and red colobus are found nowhere else. These two species are offered some protection within the 169 square kilometer Tana River Primate National Reserve. Forest loss in their range, unfortunately, has increased over the course of the last decade, resulting in an approximately 30% loss of original vegetation. In addition, local communities continue to degrade the remaining forest for products used in the construction of homes and canoes, the collection of wild honey, and the topping of date palms to make palm wine. A 5-year World Bank/GEF project started in 1996 was originally designed to relocate several hundred families that presently live within the reserve, but financial support was ultimately withdrawn before completion of the project, leaving responsibility for the protection of the Tana River's remaining forests and primates entirely to the Kenya Wildlife Service. Recent research has found a drastic decline in mean group size for the red colobus from earlier studies, with no increase in the number of groups. An accurate census of the mangabey population is needed. Because they live in a small area of forest that is rapidly being destroyed, both these primates are at high risk of extinction.

Relevant Citations:

Mbora DNM, McGrew WC.  
Extra-group sexual consortship in the Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus)?  
Folia Primatol 73 (4): 210-213 Jul-Aug 2002

Wahungu GM.  
Common use of sleeping sites by two primate species in Tana River, Kenya.
AFR J ECOL 39 (1): 18-23 MAR 2001

Medley  KE.  
Primate conservation along the Tana River, Kenya- An examination of the forest habitat.  
Conserv Biol 7 (1):109-121 Mar 1993.

Kinnaird MF and O'Brien TG.  
Viable populations for an endangered forest primate, the Tana River Crested Mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus galeritus).  
Conserv Biol 5 (2): 203-213 Jun 1991.

Fact Sheet:

The full report is available at:
Full report
Topics in Primate Conservation is supported by a grant RR00167,
Regional Primate Centers Program, National Center for Research
Resources, The National Institutes of Health.

Posted Date: 2-18-03