Cercopithecus mitis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Cercopithecus mitis Wolf, 1822
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Blue Monkey, Diademed Monkey, Golden Monkey, Samango, Sykes' Monkey
French Cercopithèque à diadème
Cercopithecus albogularis Sykes, 1821
Taxonomic Notes: This account largely follows the taxonomic arrangement of Grubb et al. (2003) in recognition of subspecies, with the exception being C. m. zammaranoi, which is recognized as a distinct subspecies following Groves (2001, 2005) and Gippoliti (2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kingdon, J., Gippoliti, S., Butynski, T.M., Lawes, M.J., Eeley, H., Lehn, C. & De Jong, Y.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread, common, present in a numerous protected areas, and there are no major threats. Some subspecies are locally common while others are known to be threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widespread African species ranges from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo eastwards to the Indian Ocean coastline and Zanzibar Island (Tanzania); in the eastern part of its range it is found from Ethiopia in the north to eastern South Africa in the south (Colyn and Verheyen 1987; Lawes 1990; Colyn 1991; Gautier-Hion et al. 1999; Butynski 2002a, b). It is found from sea level up to 3,800 m asl (Rwenzori Mountains).

There are 17 subspecies:

1). C. m. albotorquatus. In Kenya, present in Kipini Conservancy, Witu Forest, Tana River forests west as far as Meru and Kora National Parks. C. m. phylax, a synonym of C. m. albotorquatus, is present on Patta and Witu Islands, Lamu Archipelago, Kenya. Reported to be present in the coastal forest of southern Somalia, but this requires confirmation (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).
2). C. m. kolbi is restricted to the highlands of Kenya, east of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi). There is no evidence that C. m. kolbi occurs in Marsabit (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong, pers comm. 2007).
3). C. m. albogularis is present from Kilifi Creek south to northern Tanzania, and from here west to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, Tanzania; it also occurs on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. This subspecies is possibly the subspecies that occurs from Kilifi Creek to Malindi (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).
4). C. m. francescae is known only from Mount Waller and the Vipya Plateau of Malawi.
5). C. m. moloneyi is present from Zambia west of the Luangwa River, northern-most Malawi, the Southern Highlands of Tanzania to the Udzungwa Mountains (T. Butynski pers. comm.).
6). C. m. erythrarchus ranges from the Mlanje Plateau in southern Malawi, to Zimbabwe, much of Mozambique (althought the coastal limits are uncertain) to Limpopo Province and northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in the south.
7). C. m. labiatus is restricted to South Africa where it is found in the Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
8). C. m. heymansi ranges between the Lualaba and Lomami Rivers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
9). C. m. opisthostictus ranges from the Province of Katanga (= Shaba) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, north to approximately 6°N on the left bank of the River Lualaba to the western shores of Lake Tanganyika, it is found in north-western Zambia west of the Luangwa River.
10). The nominate subspecies C. m. mitis is known only from the Dundo region of Angola.
11). C. m. boutourlinii is present in southern Ethiopia, where it is found from Lake Tana southwards along the western side of the Ethiopian Rift, but does not reach Lake Turkana.
12). C. m. stuhlmanni is widespread occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo from the region between the Uele River and the Congo River, east of the Itimbiri River to the Ituri and Semliki Forests (Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda), and from here south to about 6°S and east of the Lualaba River, into southern Sudan, northern Uganda and parts of Kenya west of the Rift Valley, including Mount Elgon and the Kakamega Forest.
13). C. m. schoutedeni is present in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the islands of Idjwi and Shushu in Lake Kivu, and from the Virunga Volcanoes and south-west as far as Bobandana.
14). C. m. doggetti is found in the highlands of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Burundi, north-western Tanzania, through Rwanda and parts of southern Uganda (there is uncertainty in the distribution of this subspecies and the degree of overlap with neighbouring subspecies).
15). C. m. kandti has an unclear distribution, but is generally found in the area of Virunga Volcanoes, the contiguous Gishwati Forest, and higher part of Nyungwe.
16). C. m. zammaranoi (treated by some as a synonym of C. m. albotorquatus) has a very restricted distribution in southern Somalia along the Jubba and Webi-Shebeli Rivers. See Gippoliti (2006) for a review.
17) C. m. monoides ranges through the Selous Game Reserve and Kichi Hills west to the foot of the Udzungwa Mountains, south into Newala District.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population density of this species varies greatly with the habitat type occupied, but it is generally common throughout its range. In South Africa, lowest densities are found in swamp, sand and riverine forests (<0.3 individuals/ha), medium densities in Afromontane forests (0.4-0.9 individuals/ha) and highest densities in coastal forests (2 individuals/ha) (Lawes 1992).

Gippoliti (2006) estimated that there may be no more than 200-500 individuals of C. m. zammaranoi surviving in riverine forest fragments in Somalia.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is present in many different forest types including lowland and montane tropical moist forest, riverine and gallery forest, delta forest and bamboo forest (Lawes et al. 1990). Also found in sand forest. It can occur in secondary forest, logged forest and thickets. Group size ranges from 2 to more than 40 individuals. The gestation period is around 176 days after which a single young is usually born.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species as a whole, although it is generally threatened to some degree by deforestation and habitat fragmentation. The species is also threatened by hunting in places (for food and animal parts are also used in places for traditional medicine). The population in Angola may have disappeared through habitat loss in a now densely settled region. Those subspecies with more restricted ranges are presumably threatened by deforestation because of a range of activities including agricultural activities (mainly shifting agriculture), selective logging for timber, logging for firewood, replacement by commercial timber forests (especially in South Africa), expanding human settlement and future mining operations. The area of Kipini Forest, in which the subspecies C. m. albotorquatus is common, has recently been given over by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kipini Conservancy for resettlement of people from the lower Tana River area. This could mean that the remaining forest is likely to be destroyed in the very near future (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES and on Class B of the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. This species is present in many protected areas across its range. There is an urgent need to assess the current status of C. m. zammaranoi and C. m. schoutedeni.

Citation: Kingdon, J., Gippoliti, S., Butynski, T.M., Lawes, M.J., Eeley, H., Lehn, C. & De Jong, Y. 2008. Cercopithecus mitis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T4221A10676022. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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