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Rare Monkey Photographed for First Time

 Bouvier's Red Colobus

Image credit: The first photograph ever taken of Bouvier’s red colobus (an adult female and infant). The image was taken in the Republic of Congo’s Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in early March / Lieven Devreese

It has been thought that Bouvier’s red colobus, Piliocolobus bouvieri, a beautiful tiny monkey, were already extinct for many years. However two primatologists have found that such monkeys are still in the forests of the Republic of the Congo.

It was in 1887 that the first description of Bouvier’s red colobus was made, and people knew them just from some museum specimens obtained from three locations nearly a century ago. These monkeys are only discovered in the Republic of the Congo, and based on a text in 1949, they were found in the aera between the lower Likouala and SanghaRivers, as well as along the AlimaRiver farther south. Several species of red colobus monkeys are under the severe threat caused by the bush meat trade, and it is unfortunate that they could not flee away from the human slaughter, although the monkeys usually stay on the trees, looking down at humans. Bouvier’s red colobus might have been discovered within the last decade, but no sighting of them has been confirmed since the 1970s.

With guidance from local people, Lieven Devreese and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo, independent researchers found their way to the swamp forests of Ntokou-PikoundaNational Park in February, 2015, hoping to establish the distribution of such precious and extinctive monkey. Covering the area of 4,572 square kilometers, the Park has been the home of gorillas, chimps, and elephants. In 2013, with advice from the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, it turned into a protected area.

To their surprise, the duo had discovered a whole group of Bouvier’s red colobus in the trees along the BokibaRiver in the park. As Devreese said, their photos presented the world’s first confirmation that the species was not extinct. From the picture taken by them, people could capture a close-up of a mother and her infant.

In the statement of Fiona Maisels of WCS, it is gladly announce that many of these colobus monkeys still live in the recently designated national park where they are put under careful protection against the threats like agricultural development, logging, and as well as road construction, because those would increasingly enhance hunting,.

The duo has released the details of their expedition on their Indiegogo page

Source: EurekAlert! Bouvier's Red Colobus

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