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Status of Zanzibar red colobus and Sykes's monkeys in two coastal forests in 2005

Nowak K & Lee PC (2013) Status of Zanzibar red colobus and Sykes's monkeys in two coastal forests in 2005, Primate Conservation, 27 (1), pp. 65-74.

We censused two discrete subpopulations of the endangered Zanzibar red colobus (Procolobus kirkii) and sympatric Sykes's monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis albogularis) between February 2004 and September 2005 in two coastal forests in Zanzibar, including the northernmost (Kiwengwa-Pongwe Forest) and some of the southernmost (Uzi and Vundwe Islands) extents of P. kirkii's range. Surveys totalled 365 hours and 307.8 km along >16 km of line transects; 472 sightings were made (Red colobus n = 252; Sykes's monkey n = 220). The southern forests (coral rag with adjacent mangrove) of Uzi and Vundwe Islands were found to support P. kirkii at a higher estimated density (29.6 groups/km²) relative to the northern coral rag forest (lacking mangrove) in Kiwengwa-Pongwe (7.5 groups/km²). However, for red colobus in coral rag, up to c.40% these "groups" could be "sub-groups" based on our observations of consistent fission-fusion and small groups seen during the census (6.63 ± 0.4SE in Kiwengwa, 6.64 ± 0.33SE in Uzi) and behavioral follows in this habitat type. We therefore also include density estimates expressed as individuals/km² (49.72 individuals/km2 in Kiwengwa, 196.32 individuals/km² in Uzi). On Uzi and Vundwe Islands, colobus densities were higher than those of Sykes's monkey (Sykes's monkey density = 18.9 groups/km²), while we found no difference between the density of these two taxa in Kiwengwa (Sykes's monkey density = 8.1 groups/km²) where encounters with humans were more frequent, vegetation was more disturbed, and the two species often associated. Although these populations represented a fraction of the historical total population of red colobus and Sykes's monkeys on Zanzibar, their estimated abundance was significant, and their marginal habitat and unprotected status were important in the general context of primate conservation in unprotected and fragmented landscapes.

Coastal forest; mangrove; Procolobus; Tanzania; island endemic

AuthorsNowak Katarzyna, Lee Phyllis C
Publication date12/2013
PublisherIUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group
ISSN 0898-6207

Primate Conservation: Volume 27, Issue 1

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