Until this year, researchers hadn’t seen the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey in the wild since the 1970s. The little primate lives in groups in swampy backwoods along the Congo River, in the Republic of the Congo. Hunting and logging crushed its populace, driving a few researchers to recommend the monkey was wiped out.
Presently, independent explorers have rediscovered the rare monkey. The scientists, Lieven Devreese of Belgium and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo of the Republic of the Congo, set off in February to find the tricky species. Their endeavor was upheld by gifts gathered through the crowd funding site Indiegogo, and financing from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“Our photos are the world’s first [of the monkey], and confirm that the species is not extinct,” According to Devreese.
There are a few types of red colobus monkey. Up to this point, researchers just knew of the Bouvier’s red species from a couple gallery examples gathered over 100 years back.
This specific colobus monkey demonstrates little fear of people — one reason it is so defenseless against bush meat hunters. As opposed to escaping hunters or inquisitive researchers, the monkeys look at them from the trees. This makes the huge gatherings simple pickings for the bush meat exchange, as indicated by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“Thankfully, many of these colobus monkeys live in the recently gazetted national park and are protected from threats such as logging, agriculture and roads, all of which can lead to increased hunting,” Fiona Maisels, a biologist and expert on Central Africa for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in the statement.
To find the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey, Devreese and Gobolo requested that local people depict nearby monkeys and their calls. This helped limited down where remaining colobus groups may live. The scientists began in the town of Owando, and afterward employed an underground joint kayak in Makoua to navigate the Likouala River.
The group made its first locating on the Bokiba River in the Republic of the Congo’s Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, a zone that secures gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants.
“After searching the swamps on the left bank of the Bokiba River for four days, changing camp twice — and just before running out of food, battery and courage — we finally found a group of Bouvier’s red colobus monkeys on Monday,” the researchers posted on indiegogo on March 3. “What a beautiful monkey!”