The De Brazza's monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus) is an Old World monkey endemic to the wetlands of central Africa. It is one of the most widespread African primates that live in forests.

Description Edit

This guenon has grey agouti fur with a reddish-brown back, black limbs and tail and a white rump. A white stripe runs down its thigh, and an orange crescent-shaped marking appears on its forehead. Its white eyelids match its muzzle and beard. Due to this distinctive appearance, the monkey is sometimes referred to as the "Ayatollah Monkey" after the similarly-bearded Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Both sexes have cheek pouches in which to carry food while they forage, and males have a blue scrotum. De Brazza's monkey is a sexually dimorphic species; males weigh around 7 kilograms, while females weigh around 4 kilograms.

Diet Edit

Debrazza’s monkeys are omnivores; however, fruits form the most important part of their diet. They also eat flowers, leaves, mushrooms, beetles, termites, worms, and lizards. At the zoo they are offered Monkey Chow, fruits, and vegetables. While foraging, the monkeys store food in their cheek pouches and then eat it later when they are in a safer area.

Range and Habitat Edit

This widespread species ranges from north-eastern Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni) and Gabon in the west of its range to Uganda, Kenya and south-western Ethiopia in the east. It was formerly believed that the Sanaga River formed the northern boundary in Cameroon, but Maisels et al. (2007) extended the current known range for C. neglectus 100 km farther north in Cameroon, about 140 km farther south in Gabon, and about 80 km farther west in Congo than was previously known. The surveys were carried out in Cameroon in the Mbam Djerem National Park, in Gabon in the Bateke Plateau National Park, and the adjoining Bateke Plateau area in Congo. C. neglectus were found on both sides of the Djerem River in Cameroon, along the Mpassa and its tributaries in Gabon, along the Nambouli River in the Lefini Reserve in Congo, and up to the right bank of the Ogooué River on the Congo side of the border (Maisles et al. 2007). Until recently, the species was not known to range east of the Great Rift valley in Kenya, but it has now been recorded in the remote and isolated Mathews Range Forest Reserve of Samburu at an elevation of 2,200 m (the highest elevation at which the species has yet been recorded; Mwenja 2007).

This species is associated with riverine forest habitats. It is found close to rivers in lowland and submontane tropical moist forest, swamp forest, semi-deciduous forest and Acacia dominated forest. They are mainly arboreal. De Brazza’s Monkey is considerably more inconspicuous than most other guenons, rarely using group calls, and generally avoiding living in polyspecific troops (Gautier-Hion and Gautier 1978), and at least in Gabon, northern Congo, the Bateke Plateau and central Cameroon, living in small family parties (Maisels et al. 2007); however, it can be found in groups of as many as 35 individuals.