Mandrillus sphinx 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Mandrillus sphinx (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Mandrill
French Mandrill
Spanish Mandril
Mandrillus sphinx ssp. insularis Zukowsky, 1926
Mandrillus sphinx ssp. madarogaster (Zimmerman, 1780)
Simia sphinx Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Source(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. and Wilson D.E. 2013. Handbook of the Mammals of the World: Volume 3 Primates. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Taxonomic Notes: Mandrillus was regarded as a subgenus of Papio by Dandelot (in Meester and Setzer 1977) and Wolfheim (1983), but recent molecular and chromosomal analyses suggest that Mandrillus is less closely related to Papio than is Theropithecus.

Studies suggest there are perhaps two distinct populations within this species (Telfer et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Oates, J.F. & Butynski, T.M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Vulnerable in view of the intensive hunting pressure on this species (combined with the habitat loss) across its range, which is likely to have resulted in a decline exceeding 30% over the past 30 years.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in moist evergreen rainforest in central west Africa, south of the Sanaga River (Cameroon) through to mainland Equatorial Guinea, western Gabon, and south-western Congo (Brazzaville) to the Kouilou River, and down to the Congo River. Inland, the Ivindo River and Ogooue River in Gabon limit its distribution to the east. In Cameroon, it is not known to occur east of the Dja river. It does not occur in the forests of south-east Cameroon or east of the Congo River. Telfer et al's (2003) study indicate that the Ogooué River, Gabon, bisects the range of the two populations, seperating them into two distinct populations 1) Cameroon and northern Gabon and 2) southern Gabon.
Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total numbers of this species are unknown, but it has undoubtably declined in recent years. It is generally rare, and in some places has been locally exterminated. The largest remaining populations are probably to be found in Gabon.
In the mid-1970s, numbers in the Wonga-Wongue National Park were said to be "fair-sized". Mandrills live at relatively low densities.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Mandrills are found in evergreen rainforest, stretching between 100 and 300 km inland from the Atlantic coast, as well as in montane forest, and thick secondary forest. Mandrills are known to stretch to forest fragments in savanna and have been known to go into plantations. They are semi-terrestrial and forage primarily at less than 5 m off the ground. They are omnivorous and diets are diverse, including fruits, buds, leaves, roots, insects, fungus, and seeds. Mandrills prefer fruits when they are available, although in their primary forest habitat the fruiting of trees and lianas is irregular, leading to periodic fruit shortages: when this occurs they are highly reliant on having abundant herbaceous growth to eat. When food is scarce (e.g. during and at the end of the dry season), they also raid crops from farms.
Mandrill home ranges may be 30-50 sq km.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is affected by the destruction of its evergreen forest habitat since this reduces the capacity of environments to support Mandrill populations. However, the most immediate threat is posed by hunting for their meat (which is highly prized in Gabon). Commercial bushmeat hunters pose a particular threat to populations which are located close to main roads and towns. Mandrills appear to be most seriously threatened in Congo (Brazzaville).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Mandrills are listed under Appendix I of CITES, and as Class B under the African Convention. Several reserves are located within the Mandrill's range, the most important of which is Lope National Park in Gabon. Other areas containing Mandrills need immediate protection, both legal and practical, against logging and hunting. Surveys are urgently needed to determine where viable populations exist.

Citation: Oates, J.F. & Butynski, T.M. 2008. Mandrillus sphinx. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T12754A3377579. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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