Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Procolobus pennantii
Species Authority: (Waterhouse, 1838)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Pennant's Red Colobus, Bouvier's Red Colobus
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.

Grubb et al. (2003) recognized four subspecies: P. p. pennantii; P. p. bouvieri; P. p. preussi; and P. p. epieni. Based on vocalizations, P. p. preussi does not appear to be closely related to the other three forms, and was considered a distinct taxon by Grubb et al. (in press). Groves (in press) raised all the subspecies to species level. Preliminary genetic evidence (N. Ting pers. comm.) suggests that epieni at least should indeed be elevated to species status.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Oates, J.F., Struhsaker, T. & Ting, N.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Critically Endangered as this species is estimated to have undergone a decline of more than 80% over the past three generations (ca. 30 years), due to high levels of hunting and habitat loss. It is now confined mainly to a handful of isolated populations, several of which remain unprotected.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1986 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a discontinuous distribution, being found on Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea), the Niger Delta, and from a small area roughly between the Lefini and lower River Sangha in the Republic of Congo (Groves in press; Grubb in press). It ranges in elevation to at least 1,500 m asl, and perhaps even 1,800 m on Bioko (Grubb et al. in press). The ranges of the three subspecies are as follows:

P. p. pennantii is endemic to the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea, where it is now restricted mainly to the south-west of the island with a range of less than 500 km² (Butynski and Koster 1994; Hearn and Mora 2001; Hearn et al. 2006). There are no confirmed historical or present records from Pico Basile (contra the map in Hearn et al. 2006).

P. p. bouvieri is known to occur on the right bank of the Congo River, along the lower reaches of the Alima to the mouth of the Likouala-aux-Herbes (i.e., west of the Sangha River), tributaries of the lower Congo River, in Republic of Congo (Gautier-Hion et al. 1999; Grubb et al. in press). However, records from Inoni, Lefini Reserve (see Groves in press), at 3ºS, 15º30'E, some way south of the known distribution, require confirmation.

P. p. epieni is present between the Forcados-Nikrogha Creek and the Sagbama-Osiama-Agboi Creek in the marsh forest of the Niger Delta, Nigeria (Grubb and Powell 1999; Werre 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Congo; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko); Nigeria
Lower elevation limit (metres): 50
Upper elevation limit (metres): 700
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total numbers across its range are not known. There appear to have been no reliable sightings of P. p. bouvieri for 25 years and it may be extinct (Oates et al. 2000).

There are probably less than 5,000 animals remaining on Bioko, where Hearn et al. (2006) estimated a 45% decline in numbers between 1986 and 2006.

P. p. epieni was discovered only in 1993, and was then quite common within its limited range in the mid-1990s (Werre and Powell 1997), but recent reports suggest rapid declines as a result of habitat degradation and hunting (Grubb and Powell 1999; L. Werre pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a largely arboreal species found in lowland and mid-montane tropical moist forest, and marsh forest. On Bioko, they can form groups of more than 30 animals. Often found in polyspecific associations (Grubb et al. in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is hunting (e.g., Butynski and Koster 1994) and habitat degradation. On Bioko, Hearn et al. (2006) estimated that more than 550 individuals were killed in 2004 alone. Artisanal scale logging has seriously degraded the habitat of P. p. epieni, removing many important red colobus food trees, such as Hallea ledermannii (Werre and Powell 1997; Grubb and Powell 1999).

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.

The remaining populations of P. p. pennantii on Bioko are confined to Gran Caldera and Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve (510 km²), and perhaps still to Pico Basile National Park (330 km²); however, there is almost no control of hunting within these protected areas. Hearn et al. (2006) have called for an immediate ban on shotgun hunting and the confiscation of all shotguns on Bioko Island.

P. p. epieni is not represented in any protected areas, although a forest reserve, Apoi Creek, near Gbanraun had been proposed. Protection of the remaining habitat of this taxon is an urgent priority.

The range of P. p. bouvieri overlaps with the Lefini Reserve. This taxon is a priority for further survey work to determine whether it remains extant in the wild.

Citation: Oates, J.F., Struhsaker, T. & Ting, N. 2008. Procolobus pennantii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39996A10291071. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided