Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monkey Business

 Part one: Discovered.

FAU Assistant Professor of Anthropology Kate Detwiler was part of the team that recently discovered a new species of African monkey, Cercopithecus lomamiensis. You can read the press release here; or read the article published here.

This new primate represents only the second new species of African monkey to be discovered in the past 28 years.

Part two: Endangered monkey demographics raise new conservation questions in Brazil.

At first glance, the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) monkey seems to be a conservation success story. Populations are now at 300 and  rising. Researchers are now finding that the Muriqui are entering a new phase of recovery as they face habitat limitations. Statistical models are showing increasing populations, but also higher mortality rates. A shift in the male to female ratio ise also increasing.

Higher populations of a species generally reduce fertility; not so in this case. The Muriqui are also exhibiting behavioral changes to include more ground activity. Strier believes this shift may explain both the rise in fertility and mortality. The males of the species typically spent more time on the ground than females (SD, 2012).

The statistical models indicate that population monitoring is essential on a long term basis and careful consideration for environmental carrying capacities are vital for species survival (SD, 2012).

The Northern Muriqui is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.


Hart JA, Detwiler KM, Gilbert CC, Burrell AS, Fuller JL, et al. (2012) Lesula: A New Species of Cercopithecus Monkey Endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Implications for Conservation of Congo’s Central Basin. Online. Available at:

Science daily, 2012.

Strier, Karen B. ,  Ives, Anthony R., 2012 . Unexpected Demography in the Recovery of an Endangered Primate Population. PLoS ONE, 7 (9. Online. Available at:

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