Erythrocebus patas 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Erythrocebus patas (Schreber, 1774)
Common Name(s):
English Patas Monkey
French Patas
Spanish Mono Patas
Simia patas Schreber, 1774
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: Treated as a subgenus of Cercopithecus by Dandelot (in Meester and Setzer 1977) and Lernould (1988), among others. However, Groves (1989), Hershkovitz (1977), Napier and Napier (1985), and Thorington and Groves (1970) regarded it as a separate genus, and this is now generally followed. Several subspecies have been described, but none, with the exception of the isolated baumstarcki, appear well founded and further research is needed (Grubb et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kingdon, J., Butynski, T.M. & De Jong, Y.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern as this is a widespread species, still relatively abundant, although there has been a marked decrease in the area of occupancy and number of individuals in the southeastern parts of its range. It is essentially a Sahel species, so the southeastern parts of its range are probably a historic range extension from previous drier times.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges from north of the equatorial forests and south of the Sahara from western Senegal through to Ethiopia, south to northern, central and southern Kenya (De Jong et al. in press) and north-central Tanzania as far as the Acacia woodlands east of Lake Manyara (4 deg S). Found at low densities in the Serengeti National Park and the Grumeti River Corridor, Tanzania (De Jong et al. 2007). Outlying subpopulations are also found on the Air and Ennedi massifs. Recorded to 2,000 m asl (De Jong et al. in press).
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a widespread species, although densities are generally low across the range. The optimum density is estimated to be approximately 1.5 animals/km², and Hall's (1968) studies recorded 110 patas in a 311,200 ha area. In Kenya, the geographic range has declined from ca. 88,800 km² in 1995 to roughly 48,200 km², and the gaps among populations has increased. The current geographic range is ca. 54% of the known historic (pre-1995) range (De Jong et al. in press). In Tanzania, the geographic range has decreased from ca 30,500 km² (pre-1995) to roughly 19,000 km² (decline of ca. 38%; De Jong et al. 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in vegetation types ranging from open grassland, to wooded savannas, to dry woodland. It is commonest in thinly bushed Acacia woodland, and appears to have a preference for woodland-grassland margins. It is largely terrestrial, and although it can climb trees when alarmed, it usually relies on its speed on the ground to escape from danger. This species feeds primarily on grasses, gum, berries, fruits, beans, and seeds, and preferred species include common savanna trees and shrubs such as Acacia, torchwood (Balanites sp.), Euclea and num-num (Carissa sp.). It is relatively adaptive, however, and also feeds on invasive alien species such as prickly pear and Lantana, as well as cotton and food crops. Visits to water are frequent in the dry season.

Patas Monkeys often use artificial water sources and fences to sit on and scan from. In all areas in which they were encountered in Kenya, they were somewhat habituated to humans, mainly to pastoralists, farmers and 'monkey chasers' in crop fields. In Busia District (Kenya), they have adapted to an area with a high human population with little to no natural vegetation left, and included maize and other crops in their diet (De Jong et al. in press).

E. patas is a diurnal species which lives in groups averaging 15 individuals, with an extensive home range (e.g., 51.8 sq. km for one group of 31 individuals). Burnham (2004) reported longer day journey lengths for all-male groups compared with social groups in the same area of Laikipia (mean for males: 7.3 km; females: 4.7 km), with male home ranges approximately twice the size of social groups. At night, groups may be spread over an area of 250,000 m², and so is protected from severe loss to predators.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Patas Monkey is occasionally hunted for food, and is used as a research animal. There is a need to clarify how many research animals are from captive bred sources.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is occasionally hunted for food, and is also persecuted as a crop pest in several range countries. It is threatened in parts of its range by habitat loss due to increasing desertification as a result of land-use practices (e.g., overgrazing by cattle, clearance of savanna for crops etc.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed under CITES Appendix II and as Class B under the African Convention. It is recorded from many protected areas across its range. Laikipia District holds the largest population of E. patas in Kenya today. All patas groups in this area occur outside protected areas and make use of cattle ranches which provide large areas of Acacia drepanolobium woodland and artificial watersources (Isbell and Chism 2007; De Jong et al. 2007).

Citation: Kingdon, J., Butynski, T.M. & De Jong, Y. 2008. Erythrocebus patas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T8073A12884516. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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