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Research on Lolldaiga Hills’ poisonous rodent—the Maned Rat

Sara B. Weinstein, Mpala-Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow, Mpala Research Centre
Department of Biology, University of Utah and National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution

Many animals defend against predation by co-opting the chemical defenses of their food. Although this poison sequestration behaviour has been most studied in butterflies, similar behaviours occur in other insects, amphibians and even birds (Savitzky et al. 2012, Nishida 2014).


Geographic range, taxonomy, and conservation of the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza colobus monkey (Primates: Cercopithecidae: Colobus)

New publication

Butynski & De Jong (2018) Geographic range, taxonomy, and conservation of the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza colobus monkey (Primates: Cercopithecidae: Colobus). Hystrix.

Abstract
The Mount Kilimanjaro guereza colobus monkey is endemic to northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, occurring on and near Mount Kilimanjaro/Mount Meru. Currently referred to as “Colobus guereza caudatus Thomas 1885”, this monkey is geographically very isolated, and phenotypically distinct from all other taxa of guereza monkeys. As such, application of the “Phylogenetic Species Concept” resurrects the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza to specific rank as Colobus caudatus. The geographic range of C. caudatus is small (ca. 4030 km2) and in decline, as is the number of individuals and area of habitat. Colobus caudatus qualifies as an IUCN Red List globally “Endangered” species, as a nationally “Endangered” species in Tanzania, and as a nationally “Critically Endangered” species in Kenya. Colobus caudatus is Kenya’s most threatened species of primate. Recommendations for research and conservation actions are provided.

Read the full publication here

Adult female Mount Kilimanjaro guereza Colobus caudatus at Kitobo Forest Reserve, central south Kenya. Notice that the white tail tuft comprises about 80% of the tail. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski.