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Cercopithecus (diana)roloway / Roloway Guenon / Roloway (of Diana meerkat f.roloway)/ Roloway Meerkatze / cercopithèque diane roloway.

Roloway Guenon or Cercopithecus diana roloway:

The West African Roloway guenon is a sub-species of the more commonly known Diana guenon.

A large proportion of African monkeys are from the guenon family, with most of them living in the forest areas of Central Africa. They are amongst the most beautiful monkeys due to their brightly coloured fur.

The Roloway guenon has an elegant appearance due to its fine body structure. The long tail is used to balance when travelling in trees. Their fur is black on the head, the back and on the outer arms and legs. The underside and the inner limbs are white while the lower back becomes a reddish colour. A white goat-like beard, a feature that distinguishes it from the Diana guenon, contrasts the black face.

Forest areas from the Sassandra River in the eastern part of Cote d’Ivoire to the Volta River of eastern Ghana.

This guenon lives in the upper canopy of pristine forest but can also be found occasionally in secondary forest areas.

Life History:
Females give birth around December- February after 5 months of pregnancy. The youngsters stay in close contact with their mothers for 6 months and drink milk throughout this time. At the age of 4 -5 years they become sexually mature. In captivity they live up to 20 years.

Roloway guenons eat mainly fruit, blossom and young leaves. Moreover, they also pick insects from leaves or catch them in mid air.

Roloway guenons live in groups of 15 – 25 individuals. Usually one male forms a group with 6 – 8 females and their offspring. The females stay in their natal group whereas the males leave their group when they reach sexual maturity. They then move singly or follow another group. A group’s territory covers an area of 28 – 90 ha. Their residency is marked especially by the loud calls of the males, which can be heard throughout the forests. Roloway guenons often move together with other primate species, especially with the Olive colobus (Procolobus verus). The latter seems to prefer travelling with a group of Roloway guenons as they are very alert and detect potential predators long before the Colobus monkeys do.

Conservational Status:
Wild populations of Roloway guenons have decreased dramatically within the last 40 years, which marks them as extremely threatened by extinction. They are recorded by the World Conservation Organization (IUCN) in the category of animals most likely to become extinct. This is due to the fact that in their whole range there are not more than 1000 individuals remaining.

This subspecies is possibly Critically Endangered, based on available information and estimation; the current population distribution and numbers are poorly known. Although it has been recorded in several forests in Ghana and eastern Côte d'Ivoire in the last five years. It is rare in these forests, where hunting pressure is intense. Recent surveys did not find it in Ghana's Bia National Park, where it was probably eliminated between mid 1970s and 1990. The assessors estimates that there probably has been a population decline of at least 80% over the last three generations.

The roloway guenon is one of the three most endangered monkeys of Ghana on the west coast of Africa. Roloways are an arboreal species found primarily in undisturbed, mature forests and seem unable to adapt to most habitat changes.

A recent decline of roloway monkeys is most likely related to the decline in forest habitats and deforestation. In the past 100 years, Ghana has lost 80% of its forested lands. The monkeys are also endangered by extensive "bushmeat" hunting. Over 800 tons of bushmeat are sold in Ghana's markets every year. This is equivalent to the weight of 40 duikers, 160,000 monkeys or 200 elephants.

The Institute's researcher Lindsay Magnuson is currently conducting a field study of the endangered roloway in its native habitat in Ghana. Lindsay is collecting information on the habitat use of the roloway guenons and its relationship to habitat disturbance, hunting pressure and other environmental factors. Lindsay is conducting field surveys in the Ankasa Resource Reserve in southeastern Ghana. This site has one of the highest densities of roloways in Ghana and shows the most promise for a long-term scientific study of this species. In addition, Lindsay will be educating the local human population about the ecology of endangered species and the benefits of local conservation.


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