Piliocolobus gordonorum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Piliocolobus gordonorum Matschie, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Udzungwa Red Colobus, Uhehe Red Colobus
French Colobe des Gordon
Spanish Colobo Rojo de Udzungwa
Procolobus badius ssp. gordonorum (Matschie, 1900)
Procolobus gordonorum (Matschie, 1900)
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 species has been considered a subspecies of Procolobus (Piliocolobus) badiusProcolobus (PiliocolobuspennantiiProcolobus (Piliocolobusrufomitratus, or Procolobus (Piliocolobuskirkii, but is here treated as a full species following Groves (2001, 2005, 2007), Grubb et al. (2003) and Struhsaker et al. (2013).

This assessment is updated to reflect the change in genus name.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Struhsaker, T, Butynski, T.M. & Ehardt, C.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Endangered because it has an extent of occurrence of less than 5,000 km², the populations are highly fragmented with no or limited movement between forest fragments, and there is a continuing decline in the species' extent of occurrence and area of occupancy due to loss and degradation of habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Udzungwa Mountains, including the Uduzngwa Mountains National Park and several adjacent forest reserves, namely West Kilombero, Matundu, Udzungwa Scarp, Nyanganje, Kiranzi-Kitungulu, and New Dabaga/Ulangambi (Struhsaker et al. 2013). Also present in the Kilombero Valley at the eastern base of the Udzungwa Mountains in several forest patches (Magombera, Kiwanga, and Kalunga, the last mentioned of which is now essentially gone), and in gallery forest along the Msolwa River south of the railway to its confluence with the Kilombero River, including the Ibiki and Msitu ya Kinjugu Forests (Struhsaker et al. 2013). It is found at elevations ranging from 250-2,200 m, although abundance is lowest at high elevations (Marshall et al. 2005, Struhsaker et al. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):250
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The total population of this species is unknown and difficult to determine, but clearly in the thousands. At least one published estimate puts the population at 15,400 individuals (Dinesen et al. 2001), but this might be too high. An earlier estimate by Rodgers and Homewood (1982) is 10,000 red colobus; however, they emphasized that the largest single interbreeding population is certainly <2,000 individuals. The Magombero forest in the Kilombero Valley appears to hold at least 1,000 individuals (Struhsaker 2005). In the Udzungwa Mountains, this was the most frequently seen primate (mean= 0.59 groups/km walked) (Rovero et al. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits a variety of forest habitats, including lowland old-growth, secondary and montane forests of the Udzungwa Mountains, and Miombo Brachystegia woodland adjacent to old-growth or secondary forest in the lower parts of the Mwanihana forest and elsewhere (Struhsaker et al. 2013). Group size, as recorded by Struhsaker et al. (2004), is highly variable, ranging from 7–83. Groups are smaller in forests that are small (<5 km²), dominated by deciduous trees, and/or are heavily degraded by human activities than are groups living in large, intact, and relatively mature blocks of moist, mixed evergreen and semi-deciduous forest (Struhsaker et al. 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by habitat loss, due to logging, conversion to agriculture, collection of firewood, and charcoal production, and hunting. The population in Magombera, in the Kilombera Valley, was severely affected by the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia railway (in 1972-1975) which bisected the Magombero forest, as well as by selective logging and agricultural expansion. The presence of the railway facilitated agricultural encroachment onto the reserve, and increased the number of bush fires. Agriculture was responsible for a decline in reserve size from 15 km² in 1955 to less than 11 km² by 1979. The area was threatened with total destruction in 2002 when the Government of Tanzania agreed to relocate squatters there from the nearby Kilombero Sugar Estate. Fortunately, the international conservation community was alerted in enough time to launch an appeal to the Government of Tanzania that averted destruction of this forest, which contains >1,000 red colobus (Struhsaker 2005).

The local Wahehe people reportedly hunt P. gordonorum, particularly in the western and south-western parts of the range (Struhsaker et al. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed as Class A under the African Convention, and under Appendix II of CITES. At present, only about half of the range of this species is protected within the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, and this population is reasonably secure. The remaining habitat is unprotected either on public land or in forest reserves (including New Dabaga/Ulangambi Forest Reserve) that are not effectively protected (e.g., Magombero Forest Reserve, which still needs to be legally incorporated into Selous Game Reserve, which the Government of Tanzania had promised to do in 1980). This species is nominally protected by law in Tanzania as ‘Presidential Game’, and enforcement of these laws is essential in areas where the species is hunted.

Struhsaker et al. (2013) highlight the following conservation priorities for this species:

1) annexation of the following Forest Reserves to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park: West Kilombero (including: Ndundulu, Nyumbanitu, Ukami, Iyondo), Udzungwa Scarp, Matundu, and Nyanganje;
2) annexation of the following forests to the Selous Game Reserve: Magombera, Ibiki, and all other forest remnants along the Msolwa River;
3) prevention of fire to allow forest expansion and establishment of corridors between forest blocks, thereby facilitating the dispersal and increase of forest-dependent species, including P. gordonorum;
4) and more effective law enforcement to prevent fires, illegal logging, and poaching.

Struhsaker et al. (2004, 2013) outline recommendations for future research.

Citation: Struhsaker, T, Butynski, T.M. & Ehardt, C. 2016. Piliocolobus gordonorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T40015A92628901. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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