Quick facts about the status of the Colobus monkey, another unique primate species in Africa that is under threat from habitat loss
The Beautiful Colobus Monkey species are found in Kenya, East Africa, and other coastal forest regions in Africa. The rare Red Colobus can be found in E. Africa where the Black/white, and Olive species are easier spotted in other areas of Africa’s tropical forest regions. Their long tails and nubby thumbs make it easy for them to swing on trees and since they are living out the majority of their life on the tops of forest and bamboo shoots this evolutionary feature is a major plus. These monkeys prefer a leafy diet and have a great stomach to do so! Their digestive system has multiple chambers breaking down the greens. They typically travel in packs of 8-10 and there are several subspecies that can be found in many countries spread out in Africa.
Why are they in jeopardy?
Deforestation found in the tropical forest regions of Africa has been found to be the leading cause to dwindling habitats and species like the Colobus. It would be encouraging if Local/state departments and other organizations were able to set-aside more land/capital for species like the colobus monkeys that are living in populated areas to have as a designated refuge. We need more exposure and support to help protect the Colobus species.
Their tropical forest habitats are dwindling just like many forest world wide are at an exceedingly fast rate due to increasing populations driving growth in agriculture and developments with the“big” business endeavors limning pockets where the spotlight should really be on preserving habitats in balance with growing demands.
Who is protecting them?
There are initiatives to preserve the species and the habitats thanks to effortless work done from organizations like Nikela and agencies all over the world. These efforts working together should help to enforce existing policies and increase awareness for future projects. There are a few key initiatives and challenges that are being met currently.
1. Non Profit Organizations
- Raise overall awareness
- Raise/donate money to support various missions
- Protect wildlife from trafficking/poaching
- Connect kids to nature through education
- Work with agencies to create conservation policies
- Help protect and treat injured wildlife
- Initiatives for sustainable agriculture
- Work with nonprofit and local communities to protect natural habitats and species through designing conservation policies and recreation/parks
- Enforcing conservation policies
- Provide funding to education in increasing awareness of the species/habitat and how to protect it from over deforestation through sustainable agriculture
- Increased # of designated protected area
- Increased education on sustainable agriculture
- Saving Wildlife
- Provides financial relief to conservation groups in the field
- Stronger legislation
Why are they important to their ecosystem?
Ecosystems are delicate and every creature plays a vital role in eachothers evolutionary success. It’s common for wildlife species to be in a unique balance with the other species food chain. Due to the colobus monkey ‘s size, diet, and aggressiveness (or lack of) they make great prey for predators and larger carnivores and in turn provide a excellent benefit to their ecosystem.
Colobus monkeys do not require much to sustain themselves, are not a threat, and they could possibly encourage forest regeneration for many tree species. It could be said because their diet is high in leaf vegetation that the diet would make it possible for it to support tree growth. Which could be considered vital if the tree was facing other environmental deterrents. Many other species rely on the same trees for various benefits like food/nutrients, protection from predators, shelter and serve several other vital needs. Encouraging possible forest regeneration is another plus.
The Colobus Monkeys are beautiful and necessary part their ecosystem they are part of a intricate/delicate ecosystem that relies on each other for there own existence. The balance between humans vs. nature is also a intricate/delicate and also relies on each other for there own existence. We also need the fragile ecosystems to exist for our own survival therefore it is our responsibility to protect the fragile habitats and the species that coexist within them.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer K.Fay