Piliocolobus rufomitratus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Piliocolobus rufomitratus (Peters, 1879)
Common Name(s):
English Tana River Red Colobus, Eastern Red Colobus
French Colobe de la Tana
Spanish Colobo Rojo del Tana
Colobus rufomitratus Peters, 1879
Procolobus rufomitratus ssp. rufomitratus (Peters, 1879)
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: Modern taxonomic arrangements of the colobus monkeys either divide the red colobus and the Olive Colobus into two genera,  Piliocolobus  and Procolobus, respectively (e.g., Kingdon 1997, Groves 2005), or consider them to belong to one genus, Procolobus, with two subgenera (Procolobus for the Olive Colobus and Piliocolubus for the red colobus) (Grubb et al. 2003 [followed in the 2008 IUCN Red List], Grubb et al. 2013). The arrangement of using two separate genera in Groves (2001, 2005, 2007) is followed here.

This taxon was formerly the nominate subspecies of a wider concept of P. rufomitratus which included subspecies semlikiensis, foai, langi, oustaleti, parmentieri, tephrosceles and tholloni (subspecies ellioti and lulindicus are no longer recognized). The former subspecies are now treated as distinct species following Groves (2007).

This is an updated assessment to reflect the change in genus name, the promotion of the nominate subspecies to species-level and the inclusion of information previously contained within the former species-level assessment.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Butynski, T.M., Struhsaker, T. & De Jong, Y.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Endangered because of its small extent of occurrence (52 km²), and the increasingly smaller and more isolated patches of habitat. The species is not listed as Critically Endangered because the range is not considered to be severely fragmented or a single location. Although this apparently arboreal species has not been observed moving between habitat patches during the day, there is apparently some movement taking place at night which appears to be helping to ensure the continued survival of the groups in the seemingly isolated patches. The area also cannot be considered a single location as there are different threats operating and the main threat, habitat loss, is not impacting the whole area equally. But it is reasonable to assume that the species occurs at less than five locations and there is continuing decline due to the current rapid destruction of habitat. This species requires regular monitoring as it could very quickly move into the Critically Endangered category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found only on the levees of the lower Tana River in Kenya. The total known range is 60 km from Kipende in the north to Mitipani in the south, where the Lamu-Garsen road enters the Tana River floodplain. It is restricted to ca. 34 patches of fragmented gallery forest, notably Guru South, Sifa East, Baomo South, Mnazini East, Bubesa West 1, Hewani South 2 forests (Butynski and Mwangi 1994). Piliocolobus rufomitratus is broadly sympatric with Cercocebus galeritus and Cercopithecus albogularis albotorquatus, and narrowly sympatric on the forest edges with Papio ibeanus and Cercopithecus pygerythrus (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The total population of Piliocolobus rufomitratus is estimated at 1,100-1,300, down from an estimated 1,200-1,800 in 1975 (Butynski and Mwangi 1994, 1995; Mbora 2003). This is not considered a significant decrease and suggests that the species may have developed strategies to cope with the shrinking habitat. Recent surveys indicate at least 86 groups occur in 34 forest patches (Butynski and Mwangi 1994, Mbora 2003); mean group size has declined by about 50% since the 1970s (Struhsaker and Grubb 2013; and refs therein). Densities of P. rufomitratus along the Tana River, Kenya have ranged from 33-253 individuals/per km² (Marsh 1978, Decker 1994, Mbora 2003).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in riverine and gallery forest where the forests are dominated by Pachystela and Barringtonia.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Piliocolobus rufomitratus appears to have declined as a result of several causes: (a) drastic changes in vegetation due to dam construction, irrigation projects, and water diversion which changed the water table; (b) forest clearance for agriculture; (c) fires eroding levee forests; (d) degradation due to livestock and wood collection; (e) selective felling of Ficus trees for canoes; and (f) hunting. Because all remaining forest patches inhabited by colobus are small and seriously threatened, the population is highly vulnerable. The proposed Tana Integrated Sugar Project in Tana River and Lamu Districts threatens more than 200 km² of semi-natural habitat in the area.
There may be some hunting of animals for meat and skins.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This taxon is listed on Appendix I of CITES and on Class B of the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

The Tana River Primate Reserve is the last true bastion for the survival of this species. Approximately 40% of the population of P. rufomitratus occurs within 13 km² of forest within the 169 km² Tana River Primate National Reserve. Stringent habitat protection is required and there is a need to re-establish the Mchelo Research Station.

Citation: Butynski, T.M., Struhsaker, T. & De Jong, Y. 2016. Piliocolobus rufomitratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136939A92658041. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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