Procolobus kirkii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Procolobus kirkii
Species Authority: (Gray, 1868)
Common Name(s):
English Zanzibar Red Colobus, Kirk's Red Colobus
Procolobus badius subspecies kirkii (Gray, 1868)
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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Struhsaker, T. & Siex, K.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Endangered as this species has an extent of occurrence <5,000 km² (probably <760 km²), there is severe fragmentation and continuing decline in area of occupancy, habitat, and the number of mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1986 Endangered (E)
1965 Very rare and believed to be decreasing in numbers

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Zanzibar Island where it occurs at elevations of 0-110 m (Siex and Struhsaker in press). Kirk's Red Colobus may once have occurred on the mainland (as, for example, does Aders' Duiker Cephalophus adersi), but is certainly extirpated there now. On Zanzibar, it is found mainly in the south-eastern part of the island in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park, the adjacent agricultural areas to the south, and the coral thickets and mangrove swamps of Uzi Island 10 km to the south-west. Also found at low densities in isolated populations in the coral thickets along Zanzibar’s eastern coast from Kiwengwa in the north to Mnyambiji in the south, and on the west coast there is a small isolated group in the mangrove swamps of Maji Mekundu. A small translocated population of ca. 56 individuals also occurs in Masingini Forest Reserve (Siex and Struhsaker in press).

Approximately 14 animals were introduced to Ngezi Forest Reserve, Pemba Island, around 1974 (Struhsaker and Siex 1998: Oryx), where the species is believed to persist in small numbers (Camperio Ciani et al. 2001).
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Upper elevation limit (metres): 110
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is estimated to be less than 2,000 individuals (Siex 2003; Struhsaker 2005; Siex and Struhsaker in press). The Jozani subpopulation was thought to contain ~500 animals. The highest densities occur in ca. 40 ha of agricultural lands adjacent to the southern border of the national park (784 individuals/km² in 1999); these high densities are due to population compression following destruction of adjacent habitat rather than to intrinsic growth (Siex 2003). Density in the coral thickets adjacent to Jozani Forest is probably less than 50 individuals/km² (Siex and Struhsaker 1999).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species lives primarily in areas of ground-water forest, and scrub forest on coral rag on the southern and eastern side of the island; it is also found in mangrove swamp (Struhsaker and Siex 1998: Primate Conservation; Siex and Struhsaker in press). It lives in multi-male groups (average 30 individuals), with overlapping home ranges. Young leaves and leaf buds account for more than 50% of the diet. In forest-dwelling groups, unripe fruit accounts for an additional quarter of the diet, whereas in groups living in agricultural areas, leaves from herbaceous species are the second most consumed item (approx. 15% of the annual diet). Some groups frequently feed on mangrove leaves, and the populations on coral rag appear to subsist on a drier, coarser diet than any recorded for red colobus (Siex 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The remaining populations are severely threatened by habitat destruction resulting from timber felling, charcoal production, clearance for cultivation, and bush-burning. This species is occasionally shot for food, sport, or as a supposed crop pest, but habitat loss remains the most serious threat (Siex 2003). In Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, habitat degradation occurred in the past mainly from commercial logging, agriculture, tree-cutting for fuelwood, and charcoal production, but this has now stopped. There are occasional deaths due to road kills south of the park.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed as Class A under the African Convention, and on Appendix I of CITES. In Tanzania, this taxon is nominally protected under the Forest Resource Management and Conservation Act of 1996.

Less than half of the taxon is legally protected within the small Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park (about 60 km²) where
the monkeys are reasonably secure. The installation of speedbumps at Jozani has also reduced the incidence of road kills. The creation of a new protected at Kiwengwa, protection of the remaining patches of coral thicket in the south, and corridors between remaining habitat patches, are needed (Siex and Struhsaker in press).

Citation: Struhsaker, T. & Siex, K. 2008. Procolobus kirkii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39992A10288362. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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