[Paleopsych] NYT: New Monkey Species Is Found in Tanzania

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Fri May 20 19:03:49 UTC 2005

New Monkey Species Is Found in Tanzania

[Click on the URL to find an audio file giving the sound of the new monkey.]


    Two teams of American scientists, working independently hundreds of
    miles apart in Tanzania, have identified a new species of monkey, the
    first new primate species identified in Africa in 20 years.

    The research teams, who learned of each other's work last October,
    named the creature the highland mangabey or Lophocebus kipunji. They
    report their discovery jointly in Friday's issue of the journal

    One team, led by Dr. Tim Davenport of the Wildlife Conservation
    Society, observed the monkey on Mount Rungwe and in the adjacent
    Kitulo National Park. Scientists in the other team, led by Dr. Carolyn
    L. Ehardt of the University of Georgia, discovered the same species at
    sites about 250 miles away in Ndundulu Forest Reserve in the Udzungwa

    The scientists said there were probably fewer than 1,000 of the
    mangabeys living in these areas. Though the Ndundulo forest is in
    excellent condition, they said, the Rungwe forest habitat is under
    assault by loggers, poachers and others. The researchers said they
    expected the new species to be classified as critically endangered.

    The newly discovered monkey, a tree-dwelling creature, is about three
    feet long, with long brownish fur. It has a crest of hair on its head
    and abundant whiskers. Unlike other Lophocebus mangabeys, which
    communicate with a "whoop gobble," the new species has an unusual
    "honk bark," the researchers said.

    Dr. Colin Groves of the Australian National University, an expert on
    primate taxonomy, said there was "no doubt at all" that the
    researchers had identified a new species.

    The scientists from the conservation society, the organization that
    manages the Bronx Zoo and other parks, were working in the highlands
    of southwest Tanzania in early 2003 when residents told them of a shy
    monkey they called kipunji. Because there are strong local traditions
    "based on both real and mythical forest animals," the scientists said,
    they were not sure the creature actually existed. But by the end of
    the year they had made some clear observations and concluded they had
    identified a previously unreported species.

    Meanwhile, the team from Georgia had been searching for another
    species of mangabey that ornithologists had reported seeing in the
    Udzungwa Mountains. It turned out to be another population of the new

    The researchers said the last primate species identified in Africa was
    the sun-tailed monkey, Cercopithecus solatus, found in Gabon in 1984,
    but several new primate species have been identified recently
    elsewhere. In part, Dr. Groves said in an e-mail message, that is
    because "there really has been more exploration by people with their
    eyes open."

More information about the paleopsych mailing list