Chlorocebus pygerythrus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Chlorocebus pygerythrus (F. Cuvier, 1821)
Common Name(s):
English Vervet Monkey, Vervet
French Vervet bleu
Spanish Vervet Oriental
Cercopithecus pygerythrus (F. Cuvier, 1821)
Simia pygerythrus F. Cuvier, 1821
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: Grubb et al. (2003) regarded this as a subspecies of C. aethiops, but it is here treated as a distinct species (see C. aethiopis for further details. Groves (2001, 2005) included this species in Chlorocebus, and lists the following subspecies: C. p. nifvoiridis [sic] probably rufoviridis; C. p. nesiotes, C. p. hilgerti, C. p. excubitor; and C. p. pygerythrus.

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. & De Jong, Y.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern as this is a very widespread and abundant species with no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Distributed from the Ethiopian Rift Valley, highlands east of the Rift, and southern Somalia in the north, through the eastern lowlands of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia (east of the Luangwa Valley), Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa (all provinces). This species has also been recorded from the islands of Pemba and Mafia, Tanzania, and the Manda Islands, Lamu Archipelago, of northern Kenya. Sympatric with Papio spp and Erythrocebus patas (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
Botswana; Burundi; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; Somalia; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Often common and abundant. However, very patchily distributed over its extensive geographic range, probably due to its need to drink water daily (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong, pers comm.). Regarded as a pest species in cultivated areas in parts of its range.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is present in savanna, open woodland, and forest-grassland mosaic, especially close to rivers. It is an extremely adaptable and versatile species able to persist in secondary and/or highly fragmented vegetation, including cultivated areas, and sometimes found living in both rural and urban environments. A significant part of the range consists of Miombo woodland. Is generally absent from desert areas and deep forest within its range. Lives in multi-male and multi-female groups of up to 38 individuals; many unrelated males may be present in a group.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats although it is classed as vermin in parts of its range and is actively persecuted (shot and hunted) by landowners in areas where it raids crops or interacts with humans. Vervets are found to be a source of bushmeat in some areas (e.g. Turkana District, Kenya; De Jong et al. in press).

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. It is present in most protected areas within its range. Further taxonomic work is required to assess the validity of proposed subspecies.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
0. Root -> 4. Other

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Research
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Butynski, T. M. 2002. The Guenons: An Overview of Diversity and Taxonomy. In: M. E. Glenn and M. Cords (eds), The Guenons: Diversity and Adaptation in African Monkeys, pp. 3-13. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow.

Groves C. 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Primates. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 111-184. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Grubb, P., Butynski, T.M., Oates, J.F., Bearder, S.K., Disotell, T.R., Groves, C.P. and Struhsaker, T.T. 2003. Assessment of the diversity of African primates. International Journal of Primatology 24(6): 1301-1357.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Kingdon, J. 1997. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Citation: Kingdon, J., Gippoliti, S., Butynski, T.M. & De Jong, Y. 2008. Chlorocebus pygerythrus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136271A4267738. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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