Bale Mountains vervet

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Bale Mountains vervet [1]
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A Bale Mountains vervet, near Rira, Ethiopia
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Chlorocebus
C. djamdjamensis
Binomial name
Chlorocebus djamdjamensis
Neumann, 1902
Bale Mountains Vervet area.png
Bale Mountains vervet range

Cercopithecus djamdjamensis(Neumann, 1902)

The Bale Mountains vervet (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) is a terrestrial Old World monkey endemic to Ethiopia, found in the bamboo forests of the Bale Mountains. [1] [2] All species in Chlorocebus were formerly in the genus Cercopithecus . [1] The Bale Mountains vervet is one of the least-known primates in Africa. They avoid tree-dominated and bushland areas as their habitat. These monkeys mainly reside in the bamboo forest (Odubullu Forest) of the Bale Mountains due their dietary specialization on bamboo, but other factors, such as climate, forest history, soil quality, and disease, are likely to play a role in their choice to inhabit this area. The Bale Mountains vervet have a very quiet behavior and tend to flee when encountering a human being. [3] It is also known as the Bale monkey. [4]



The Bale monkey is a member of genus Chlorocebus , along with five sister species. [4] All members of Chlorocebus were formerly considered to be part of Cercopithecus ; the Bale monkey was formerly known as Cercopithecus djamdjamensis. [5] It was originally described as a subspecies of the grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops). [1]

A 2018 study found that the populations of Bale monkey living in fragmented forests were genetically distinct from populations in continuous forests. This is due to the fragmented forest populations' hybridization with the grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops) and the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus). [6] The Bale monkey does not currently co-occur with either of these monkeys in the wild and so it is proposed that this hybridization occurred over a century ago. [4]



The Bale Mountains vervet monkey is a dietary specialist with African alpine bamboo (Yushania alpina) making up as much as 77% of its diet. [7] This makes the species unique in the genus Chlorocebus as the other five species are dietary generalist species. [4] The diets of Bale monkeys in continuous forests are made up of approximately 10 species of plants; however, populations in fragmented forests have considerably higher dietary diversity and consume up to five times more species. For those populations, bamboo makes up as little as 2% of their diet. It is unclear if this dietary flexibility is due to hybridization from grivet and vervet monkeys or if the species adapts in the absence of bamboo. This dietary flexibility makes the Bale monkey less dependent on its main food source than other dietary specialist species like the koala or giant panda. [7] In areas where Bale monkeys and human settlements co-occur, the monkeys often raid crops for food which can spark retaliatory hunting. [4]

Conservation status

The Bale monkey is currently rated vulnerable by the IUCN Red List and is listed on Appendix II of CITES. The main threats to the species are habitat loss and hunting. They could be threatened by hybridization with the grivet and the vervet monkey in the future. [4]

The monkey feeds on bamboo and may thus be threatened by deforestation. Encroaching human populations have nearly extirpated the Bale monkey from the Sidamo Highlands. The monkey is persecuted for crop raiding and hunted by local people. It is protected in parts of its range by the Bale Mountains National Park; the proposed Harena-Kokosa National Forest Reserve would protect some populations. [4]

Related Research Articles

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Old World monkey Family of mammals

Old World monkey is the common English name for a family of primates known taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons and macaques. Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc, vervet, gelada, mangabey, langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Phylogenetically, they are more closely related to apes than to New World monkeys. They diverged from a common ancestor of New World monkeys around 55 million years ago.

Guenon Genus of Old World monkeys

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Vervet monkey Species of Old World monkey

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<i>Chlorocebus</i> Genus of Old World monkeys

Chlorocebus is a genus of medium-sized primates from the family of Old World monkeys. Six species are currently recognized, although some people classify them all as a single species with numerous subspecies. Either way, they make up the entirety of the genus Chlorocebus.

Grivet Species of Old World monkey

The grivet, also known as African green monkey and savannah monkey, is an Old World monkey with long white tufts of hair along the sides of its face. Some authorities consider this and all of the members of the genus Chlorocebus to be a single species, Cercopithecus aethiops. As here defined, the grivet is restricted to Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea. In the southern part of its range, it comes into contact with the closely related vervet monkey and Bale Mountains vervet. Hybridization between them is possible, and may present a threat to the vulnerable Bale Mountains vervet. Unlike that species, the grivet is common and rated as least concern by the IUCN.

Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) is a national park in Ethiopia. The park encompasses an area of approximately 2,150 square kilometres in the Bale Mountains and Sanetti Plateau of the Ethiopian Highlands.

De Brazzas monkey Species of Old World monkey

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Hamlyns monkey Species of Old World monkey

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LHoests monkey Species of mammal

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Malbrouck Species of Old World monkey

The malbrouck is an Old World primate from Africa that belongs to the genus Chlorocebus. The species is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the vervet monkey, or of the widespread grivet.

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Golden monkey Species of Old World monkey

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 159. ISBN   0-801-88221-4. OCLC   62265494.
  2. 1 2 Butynski, T. M.; Gippoliti, S.; Kingdon, J. & De Jong, Y. (2008). "Chlorocebus djamdjamensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2008: e.T4240A10699069. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T4240A10699069.en .
  3. Mekonnen, Addisu; Bekele, Afework; Hemson, Graham; Teshome, Eyob; Atickem, Anagaw (October 2010). "Population size and habitat preference of the Vulnerable Bale monkey Chlorocebus djamdjamensis in Odobullu Forest and its distribution across the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia". Oryx. 44 (4): 558–563. doi: 10.1017/s0030605310000748 . ISSN   0030-6053.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gippoliti, S., Butynski, T.M. & Mekonnen, A. 2019. Chlorocebus djamdjamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T4240A17958005.
  5. Grubb, P., Butynski, T.M., Oates, J.F., Bearder, S.K., Disotell, T.R., Groves, C.P. and Struhsaker, T.T. 2003. Assessment of the diversity of African primates. International Journal of Primatology 24(6): 1301-1357.
  6. Mekonnen, A., Rueness, E.K., Stenseth, N.C. et al. Population genetic structure and evolutionary history of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in the southern Ethiopian Highlands. BMC Evol Biol 18, 106 (2018).
  7. 1 2 Mekonnen, A., Fashing, P.J., Bekele, A. et al. Dietary flexibility of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in southern Ethiopia: effects of habitat degradation and life in fragments. BMC Ecol 18, 4 (2018).