Procolobus badius 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Procolobus badius
Species Authority: (Kerr, 1792)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English West African Red Colobus, Bay Colobus, Western Red Colobus, Red Colobus
French Colobe Bai, Colobe Bai D'Afrique Occidentale, Colobe Ferrugineux
Spanish Colobo Herrumbroso Occidental
Taxonomic Notes: Red Colobus are sometimes included in the genus Piliocolobus (e.g., Kingdon 1997, Groves 2005). The current treatment follows Grubb et al. (2003) in regarding Piliocolobus as a subgenus of the genus Procolobus, pending the availability of further evidence. Three subspecies are recognized by Grubb et al. (2003) and Grubb (in press) and adopted here: Procolobus badius badius; P. b. temminckii; and P. b. waldroni. The latter is sometimes treated as a distinct species (Dandelot 1968, Groves in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Oates, J.F., Struhsaker, T., McGraw, S., Galat-Luong, A., Galat, G. & Ting, T.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Endangered as the taxon is estimated to have undergone a decline exceeding 50% over the course of three generations (see documentation for derivation of generation length), mainly due to habitat loss and hunting. Particularly in the eastern parts of its range, it is very sensitive to hunting pressure; in the northern and western parts of the range, hunting pressures are not as intense, but they are severely threatened by habitat loss.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1990 Vulnerable (V)
1988 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This West African species is distributed as fragmented populations from Senegal to Ghana (Struhsaker 1975; Oates et al. 1994; Grubb in press; Groves in press).

P. b. temminckii occurs to the west of the principal Upper Guinea rain-forest block in south-west Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau (Grubb in press) and north-west Guinea (Starin et al. in press). It is reported to be absent east of the Rio Grande (Rio Corubal) in Guinea-Bissau, except for a supposed sighting at Catio, near the border with Guinea (Monard 1938). Although mapped from the Fouta Djalon in Guinea (Booth 1958), there are no published records available to confirm this. Also reported from north-west Sierra Leone (Harding 1984), although this record is dubious (N. Ting pers. comm.).

The nominate P. b. badius is distributed as fragmented populations in Sierra Leone, adjacent parts of southern Guinea, Liberia, east to the Nzi-Bandama River system in western Côte d'Ivoire (Grubb in press; Groves in press). The exact boundary between P. b. badius and P. b. temminckii is unclear, but the two are believed to be geographically separated (Grubb in press). P. b. badius and P. b. waldroni meet at the Bandama River, Côte d'Ivoire.

P. b. waldroni ranged from the Nzi-Bandama River system in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire to south-western Ghana, though not quite reaching the Volta River (Oates et al. 2000; McGraw 2005). The taxon has been eliminated over most of its range, and no live specimens have been observed for over 25 years in the wild. However, based on recent evidence (a skin, tail and photograph), a few individuals might be present in the forest between Ehy forest and Tanoe river in Côte d'Ivoire (McGraw 2005). In March 2008, calls by what is believed to be Miss Waldron's Red Colobus were heard by a team of scientists from the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in the Ehy Forest (Tanoé Swamps Forest) in Côte d’Ivoire, and a fresh skin of a red colobus was recovered from a poacher (I. Kone pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Senegal; Sierra Leone
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no overall population estimates, but the species appears to be declining over the majority of its range.

There have been no confirmed sightings of Miss Waldron's Red Colobus in the wild since 1978 and surveys carried out from 1993 to the present have yet to confirm the survival of any living individuals (Oates et al. 2000; McGraw 2005). Since the announcement of the monkey’s probable extinction (Oates et al. 2000), new evidence from forests in extreme south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire suggests that a handful of individuals may have remained undetected in the forest between Ehy forest and Tanoe river, Côte d'Ivoire (Oates and McGraw 2002; McGraw 2005; I Kone pers. comm.). However, they are unlikely to represent a viable population (McGraw 2005; Struhsaker 2005).

In Senegal, there are probably fewer than 400-500 individuals of P. b. temminckii surviving in Saloum Delta National Park, and probably fewer than 100 in the isolated Niokolo Koba and north-west Guinea population (A. Galat-Luong and G. Galat pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This arboreal species is found in a variety of forest types including primary, secondary, and riverine or gallery forest.

P. b. badius prefers primary or mature old growth moist forest, and is more dependent on forest habitat than P. b. temminckii. Group size ranges to as many as 90 animals, with an average of 53 in Tai National Park (S. McGraw pers. comm.).

As concerns P. b. temminckii, Galat-Luong and Galat (2005) and A. Galat-Luong (pers. comm.) report that the Saloum (Senegal) northern most red colobus population lived in the 1970s only in closed habitats (e.g., in forest, dry forest, forest fringe or gallery forest), but started in recent years to use more “open habitat” like gallery forests with interrupted canopy and even true wooded savanna, mangrove swamps and farmland, apparently because of reduction of forest cover in their original habitat.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to the species are habitat loss and hunting. Deforestation through logging, charcoal production, and clearance for agricultural land including plantations, has occurred over much of the species range, especially in the last century. In addition, both subsistence and commercial hunting have heavily impacted populations of this species, particularly of P. b. badius and P. b. waldroni. Improved access to forest interiors through logging roads has increased hunting pressure on this species. Much of the range of this species has been impacted by civil conflict since 1989 and it is not yet clear to what extent this has affected populations in Senegal (especially Basse Casamance), Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire.

Although hunting is also a threat to P. b. temminckii (particularly so in the south of its range), this subspecies appears to be somewhat less affected than P. b. waldroni and P. b. badius; in The Gambia monkeys are hunted more as farm pests than for consumption as meat, and red colobus are minor farm pests compared with baboons, green monkeys and patas (Starin 1989). The major threat to this subspecies is habitat loss as a result of forest conversion by agriculture, overgrazing, fires and tree-cutting, combined with decreasing rainfall in the part of West Africa inhabited by this monkey (Starin 1989; Galat-Luong and Galat 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This taxon is listed on Appendix II of CITES and on Class B of the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

P. b. badius has been recorded from the Gola Forest Reserves, Outamba-Kilimi National Park, and Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Sierra Leone; Sapo National Park, Liberia; and Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. This subspecies is reported to have disappeared in four forest reserves and at Marahoué National Park between the Sassandra and Bandama rivers in Côte d'Ivoire, mainly due to hunting (Sery et al. 2006).

P. b. temminckii has been recorded from a number of protected areas including: Abuko National Park, River Gambia National Park, Gambia; Basse Casamance National Park (where they may no longer survive), Saloum Delta National Park, Niokolo-Koba National Park Senegal; and Cufada National Park in Guinea-Bissau.

Individuals of P. b. waldroni might be present in the forest between Ehy forest and Tanoe river, Côte d'Ivoire (McGraw 2005), and this region represents a priority for further survey work to ascertain whether any individuals may still survive in the wild.

Citation: Oates, J.F., Struhsaker, T., McGraw, S., Galat-Luong, A., Galat, G. & Ting, T. 2008. Procolobus badius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18240A7877917. . Downloaded on 25 June 2016.
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