Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:41 pm

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We visited KZN during October this year and arriving at Ndumo Reception, we were informed that if were lucky we will see the Samango Monkeys. Up to then I've never before heard of a Samango Monkey. They are very endangered mainly because of habitat loss. They could have gone extinct before I even knew they existed!

We were in fact so "lucky" that we've seen them on 5 different occasions, (twice at Ndumo, once at Mabibi and twice near Cape Vidal) 4 times I could only get lousy photos of their back sides as they disappeared into the bush, but the last time we saw them near Cape Vidal, I got a few good shots off. One monkey drank water from a puddle in the road, were curious for a second or two and then just disappeared.

SAMANGO MONKEY - Cercopithecus mitus

(Info from – Siyabona Africa)
Appearance
Males are larger than females, males have a mass of 7 to 9 Kg and females 4 to 5 Kg. The tail is a third longer than the body. The coat of the head and the shoulders is dark grey to black. Facial skin, feet, hands and lower limbs are black. Upper limbs and flanks are paler than the shoulders. Belly and throat are a creamy white. The muzzles of males protrude to accommodate the enlarged canines.
Diet
The diet of the Samango Monkey include fruits, insects, flowers, leaves and insects. The Samango male consumes more fruit than the female. While foraging for food it would appear that Samangos start the day by selecting for fruit, and will later in the day take leaves, whereas the day is finished with a combination of fruit and leaves.
Breeding
This primate is a seasonal breeder. Females give birth during the onset of the warm, rainy season. A single young is born after a gestation period of 140 days. Young are carried by their mothers for two to three months, and are finally weaned at the age of nine months. Males compete for the attention of oestrus females. In Samango troops, oestrus is unsynchronised.
Behaviour
Samango Monkeys have a harem social structure, that is a single dominant male lives with his females and their infants and subadults. The social core is formed by related females, who will also defend their territory.
Habitat
Can survive in relatively depauperate swamp forests, inclusive of the deciduous sand forests of northern KwaZulu-Natal, although it is mainly confined to evergreen indigenous forests. Seldom ventures into forest patches smaller than 50-100 ha.
Where they are found
Not widespread or common in South Africa, occurring only in the coastal forests north of St Lucia estuary in KwaZulu-Natal, and in the Afro-montane forests of Mpumalanga. The range extends into similar habitats in neighbouring countries. Another, more southern subspecies, is found in Afro-montane and coastal scrub forests of central and southern KwaZulu-Natal, extending into the Eastern Cape to just north of the Knysna forest. Higher population densities occur at the north coast. The two South African subspecies are only distinguished by colour variances.

Re: Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:39 pm

Populations in South Africa

The samango monkey is South Africa's only exclusively forest dwelling primate and represents the southernmost extent of the range of arboreal guenons in Africa. There are two subspecies of C. mitis recognised from the southern African subregion: C. m. labiatus and C. m. erythrarchus. Cercopithecus mitis erythrarchus has darker tail, lighter forearms and golden colouring on back compared to C. m. labiatus.
C. m. labiatus is found in discrete forest areas with no dispersal between subpopulations. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN list on the basis of a past decline exceeding 30% over the past 27 years, mainly as suitable habitat has been lost throughout the subspecies' highly fragmented range due to past logging practices, and current forestry plantations.
Cercopithecus mitis labiatus is distributed from the Eastern Cape Province north-eastwards to the midlands of the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Cercopithecus mitis erythrarchus is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN list in view of its wide distribution, because it is locally common, it occurs from northern KwaZulu-Natal (north of the Umfolozi river) through eastern and northern South Africa to Zimbabwe and Mozambique where they occur in either one of two major forest types: Afromontane or Coastal forests. These major South African forest types are characterised by a highly fragmented distribution reflected in the distribution of Samango populations. Forests themselves are South Africa's smallest (comprising 0.4 % of the national surface area), most fragmented and most vulnerable biome. The main threats to South Africa's forests and thus to the samango are linked to increasing land-use pressure and increasing demands for forest resources, resulting in deforestation, degradation and further fragmentation of irreplaceable habitats.

The [O] of SM's monkey in the Cape Vidal dune forest should be Cercopithecus mitis erythrarchus ^Q^

Re: Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:39 pm

Nice Monkeys \O
they have long nails ;-)
beautiful pictures ^Q^

Re: Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:51 pm

Very good pics, SM! \O \O \O

Interestingly, one can find them in Limpopo province, and they were "reintroduced" to Punda/Pafuri area in Kruger briefly! :shock:

Re: Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:03 pm

In Limpopo, there is population of Samango monkeys in the Soutpansberg mountain region near Louis Trichardt. \O

Here a video with info galore: Samango Monkeys

Re: Samango Monkey

Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:27 pm

Makhado! O-/

^0^

Re: Samango Monkey

Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:07 am

Here is the link to the Samango Monkey Working Group http://www.nzg.ac.za/smwg/

with Dr Adrian Tordiffe (featured in the video) as SMWG chairperson and how we can help by sending him information about any Samango sightings.

Thanx Toko for the great info and link to the every educating video regarding the future of the Samongo Monkey 0/0

Re: Samango Monkey

Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:05 am

interesting \O
I remember some people saw some before the entrance of Punda Maria :-?

Re: Samango Monkey

Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:36 am

Great pics SM ^Q^

Very informative info around these primates. O:V

Great video too ..thanks Toko for the link. \O

Re: Samango Monkey

Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:27 pm

Lovely sightings and pics SM!! \O \O