Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rare monkey photographed in Congo's newest national park, Ntokou-Pikounda

17.04.2015

Field researchers capture first-ever image of Bouvier's red colobus monkey

Two primatologists working in the forests of the Republic of Congo have returned from the field with a noteworthy prize: the first-ever photograph of the Bouvier's red colobus monkey, a rare primate not seen for more than half a century and suspected to be extinct by some, according to WCS (the Wildlife Conservation Society).


The first photograph ever taken of Bouvier's red colobus (an adult female and infant). The image was taken in the Republic of Congo's Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in early March.

Credit: Lieven Devreese

The elusive primate was recently photographed by independent researchers Lieven Devreese and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo within Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, a 4,572-square-kilometer (1,765-square-mile) protected area created on advice from WCS in 2013 to safeguard gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and other species.

The field researchers set off in February 2015 to try to photograph Bouvier's red colobus and establish the present distribution of this unique primate species in the Republic of Congo. Guided by local people familiar with red colobus vocalizations and behavior, the team found a group of red colobus in the swamp forests along the Bokiba River in the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park. "Our photos are the world's first and confirm that the species is not extinct," Devreese said.

WCS helped in the search for Bouvier's red colobus with logistical support and provided the unpublished survey records of red colobus monkeys in Northern Congo.

"We're very pleased indeed that Lieven and Gaël were able to achieve their objective of not only confirming that Bouvier's red colobus still exists, but also managing to get a very clear close-up picture of a mother and infant," said WCS's Dr. Fiona Maisels. "Thankfully, many of these colobus monkeys live in the recently gazetted national park and are protected from threats such as logging, agriculture, and roads, all of which can lead to increased hunting."

Bouvier's red colobus (Piliocolobus bouvieri) is a species of monkey endemic to the Republic of Congo, about which virtually nothing is known. It has been considered a subspecies of a larger colobus taxonomic group in the past, but the most recent treatment lists it as a full species.

The species was first described in 1887 and is only known from a couple of museum specimens collected from three localities over 100 years ago. The authors of a book written in 1949 mention that the species occurs in the swamp forests between the lower Likouala and Sangha Rivers, as well as along the Alima River farther to the south. The last unverified sightings of Bouvier's red colobus monkey occurred in the 1970s.

Recent surveys by WCS had previously recorded red colobus in what is now Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in 2007 and 2014, but they were very rarely encountered and no photograph had been taken. The new sighting and photograph confirm the presence of this threatened primate in Northern Congo. However, red colobus monkeys (there are several species) typically do not flee from humans but look down at them from the trees, an unfortunate behavioral characteristic that has led to them becoming very rare wherever hunters are active. They are highly threatened by the growing demand for bushmeat in the region, a trade that also threatens larger primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees.

James Deutsch, Vice President for Conservation Strategy at WCS, commented: "Confirmation that Bouvier's red colobus still thrives in the this area reminds us that there remain substantially intact wild places on Earth, and should re-energize all of us to save them before it is too late."

###

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world's oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: http://www.wcs.org;http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.

Lieven Devreese (27) is an independent researcher with experience on several projects in Central Africa. For his Master thesis, he studied agile mangabeys in the Central African Republic in 2010. Devreese hopes to start a PhD project soon with a subject on phylogeography of monkeys in the Congo Basin.

Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo (25) is a student at the Marien-Ngouabi University in Brazzaville. He grew up in the village of Bomassa, close to the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Gnondo Gobolo conducted his bachelor's thesis in collaboration with WCS working in this national park in the north of the country.

Media Contact

John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275

 @TheWCS

http://www.wcs.org 

John Delaney | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>