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WCS helped in the search for Bouvier's red colobus with logistical support and provided the unpublished survey records of red colobus monkeys in Northern Congo.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

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>