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Black-and-white colobus monkey

Scientific Name: Colobus guereza

Black-and-white colobus monkey are Old World monkeys, a term describing monkeys from Africa and Asia. Black-and-white colobus monkey live in Central Africa. They have distinctive black and white colouration, with long white fur on their backs. They are unusual in that they have lost their thumbs and have only four fingers on their hands. Some individuals will have a partial thumb that is not used.

Their habitat ranges from tropical forest through to dry forests and scrubland. When in dense forest black-and-white colobus monkeys are highly arboreal and spend most of their time in the trees. However, in less dense forest they will travel along the ground. Black-and-white colobus monkeys spend most of their time searching for food and resting.

They live in mixed male and female groups of 8-15 individuals. There will be an adult male, several females and their offspring. Females remain in the group and form close bonds with each other. Young males leave the group before they are mature and either join a group of other young males or live alone until they can take over a group of females.

Black-and-white colobus monkey mainly eat a diet of leaves. Over half the diet is young leaves, with mature leaves (12.5%), fruit (13.5%) and flowers (2%). They have a large stomach that contains special bacteria needed to break down the leaves in their diet.

Black-and-white colobus monkey are locally threatened, but widespread. They are not considered to be threatened by the IUCN. However, the population is negatively affected by habitat loss and hunting.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: Central Africa
  • Habitat: Coniferous & Broadleaf Forests, Scrublands, Tropical Forest
  • Diet: Flowers, Fruit, Leaves
  • Height: 45 – 70cm
  • Weight: 8 – 14kg
  • Gestation: 158 days
  • No. of young: 1
  • Life Span: 20 – 30 years

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