Coastal Colobus are discovered to be two different species!
There were some major developments in the taxonomy of the Angolan colobus in recent weeks. In short, part of the population that had previously been believed to be Colobus angolensis palliatus have been reclassified as Colobus angolensis sharpei. The palliatus sub species is now only thought to range into North and coastal Tanzania.
GVI together with the Colobus Trust now hope to supply IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) with information that will enable them to give the Kenyan palliatus sub species a higher rating on the endangered species list. Currently they are listed as least concern and we hope to get them re-listed as a rare or possible even an endangered species.
With the hard work of our volunteers GVI have been performing census of the Shimoni area collecting Colobus population figures since 2006. We estimate that there are less than 5000 Kenyan black and white coastal Colobus left in the wild which makes Shimoni’s population of around 300 individuals highly substantial.
The reclassification can potentially boost international interest in the Kenyan populations of Angola Black and White Colobus which will further increase the significance of our ongoing collection of data. An increased status will make it easier to attract conservation funds and push the high importance of Colobus habitat protection.
Here in GVI Kenya we feel it’s about time our Colobus got the recognition they deserve, as I am sure you will agree.
This amount of progress could never have been possible without the donors and volunteers that have supported us. A big thank you to all!
The original article that justified the sub-species split is available for download at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajp.20828/abstract
Other information and reports on the work in Kenya are found on our website http://www.gvikenya.net and on our weblog http://gvikenya.blogspot.com