Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is declining rapidly and is thought to be undergoing further habitat degradation and increased pressure from hunting, particularly in Ghana. It is presumed to have declined by at least 50% over the past 27 years, although this decline may have been even more severe.
C. lunulatus ranges through the eastern part of the range from the Nzo-Sassandra system to the Volta River ( Côte d'Ivoire). It has recently been recorded from southwestern Burkina Faso (Galat and Galat-Luong 2006) and from southwestern Ghana.
It is found in primary and secondary forests, gallery forest, swamp forest including mangrove and mosaic habitats in the Guinean Forest Zone. This species is largely terrestrial but will also use the forest canopy.
This species is presumably threatened by habitat loss caused by deforestation for timber and firewood. The species is locally hunted for meat, and this is an increasingly important threat with ongoing forest fragmentation. Although they are tolerant of a wide range of habitats, hunting of this species for meat and persecution from crop raiding are major threats.
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 (as Cercocebus atys). European Union listed in Appendix I.
C. lunulatus occurs in Comoe National Park but it is threatened by civil conflict and hunting; it has also been recorded from Ankasa Resource Reserve, Dadieso Forest Reserve and Yoyo Forest Reserves in Ghana, and Marahoué National Park, Dassioko Forest Reserve and Niegre Forest Reserve in Côte d’Ivoire. Many of these protected areas should be elevated to national park status.
There are captive-breeding programmes for this species in European zoos.