Thursday, September 13, 2012

[Mammalogy • 2006] The Recently Described Highland Mangabey, Lophocebus kipunji (Cercopithecoidea, Cercopithecinae): Current Knowledge and Conservation Assessment

 The Highland Mangabey, Lophocebus kipunji
Drawing by Stephen D. Nash.

The highland mangabey (Lophocebus kipunji), described and named in 2005, is the first monkey to be discovered in Africa since 1984. This species, endemic to Tanzania, was independently discovered by two research groups, one working in Ndundulu Forest in the Udzungwa Mountains, the other ~350 km to the southwest in the Rungwe-Livingstone Forest in the Southern Highlands. Lophocebus kipunji is an arboreal omnivore with a morphology and vocal repertoire distinct from other mangabeys (Lophocebus spp. and Cercocebus spp.). Although few data are available, studies of its molecular biology, ecology, behavior, and conservation status are underway. Lophocebus kipunji is Critically Endangered as a result of hunting and loss of habitat, which have produced small and fragmented populations. Efforts to improve the conservation status of both Ndundulu Forest and Rungwe-Livingstone Forest are ongoing, as well as augmentation of community-based conservation programs with expanded law enforcement. Research, long-term monitoring, effective law enforcement, and additional conservation projects are all essential to the long-term survival of L. kipunji.

Key Words: Highland mangabey, Lophocebus kipunji, Tanzania, conservation, Udzungwas, Southern Highlands

Carolyn L. Ehardt and Thomas M. Butynski. 2006. The Recently Described Highland Mangabey, Lophocebus kipunji (Cercopithecoidea, Cercopithecinae): Current Knowledge and Conservation Assessment. Primate Conservation. (21): 81 –87