Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Monkeys in Kenya Linked to Global Warming

There's a double-edged ecological sword in Kenya.

The bad news....

Kenyan conservationists discovered the De Brazza monkey population in the country's arid north, yet the species is largely known to live in the wet areas west of the Rift Valley, Nairobi-based Wild Direct said in a study titled "Primates in Peril."

While large populations of De Brazza's monkey, known for their white beards andshyness, exist in central Africa, the population in Kenya is low and under immense anthropogenic pressure.

"This latest discovery really underlines our ignorance of changes in the landscape over a relatively short period of time," said world-renowned Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey....

Before the latest discovery, De Brazza's monkeys were not known to exist east of the Great Rift Valley, which is dry.

And the GOOD news...

"I was not expecting to find more than two to three groups. When I realized that there were such healthy populations existing in an unknown habitat, I was overwhelmed," said Iregi Mwenja, who has been studying the species in Kenya for four years.

The new discovery puts the species out of threat in Kenya, where it was facing extinction owing to human-wildlife conflict -- rampant deforestation and competition from other species, Wildlife Direct said in the statement.

Photo by charliejb.

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