Roloway monkey

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Roloway monkey [1]
Cercopithecus roloway.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Cercopithecus
C. roloway
Binomial name
Cercopithecus roloway
(Schreber, 1774)
Cercopithecus diana roloway distribution.png
  • Cercopithecus diana ssp. roloway (Schreber, 1774)
  • Simia roloway Schreber, 1774

The roloway monkey (Cercopithecus roloway) is an endangered species of Old World monkey endemic to tropical West Africa. It was previously considered a subspecies of the Diana monkey (C. diana). It is classified as Critically Endangered due to habitat loss and continued hunting for the bushmeat trade. The roloway monkeys are mainly arboreal species, for the most part inhabiting forests in Ghana and some reserves in South-Eastern Côte-D'Ivoire. More specifically studies have shown that the C. diana roloway is mostly concentrated in Tanoé forest because of their heavy threats to extinction. [3]



C. roloway and C. diana were previously considered related subspecies (C. diana roloway and C. diana diana), but were classified into separate species in 2005. [1]


The roloway monkey is similar to other species of guenons. Like its closest relative, C. diana, its face and much of its fur are black, but is distinguished by its lengthy beard and broader diadem-like browband. [4] It has a white beard, chest, and throat; white stripe runs along each thigh and a deep reddish or orange patch is on its back. On the inside of the thighs, the fur is whitish, yellowish, or reddish. The body length ranges from 40 to 55 cm, with a tail of 50 to 75 cm. Its weight is between 4 and 7 kg. [5]

Distribution and habitat

The species occurs in a small area of eastern Ivory Coast and the forests of Ghana, between the Sassandra and Pra Rivers. It may possibly occur in Burkina Faso and Togo. It inhabits the canopy of old-growth forests, including gallery forests, in moist-low-lying regions, and avoids but can make use of forests that have been lightly logged. [2]



Roloway monkeys consume a diverse array of varying insects, fruit, seeds, and flowers. They can feed on the plant parts of roughly 130 species of trees, climbers, and epiphytes. Like many omnivores, roloway monkeys also consume mature fruit pulp, arthropods, oil-rich seeds, and young leaves. [6]

Social habits

Roloway monkeys typically are diurnally active only, and spend the night sleeping high in the canopy. The species forms social groups of 15-30 individuals, typically with a single male, around 10 females and their offspring. Males may change between groups, while females generally stay with the same group into which they were born, a habit that may impose restrictions on the recovery of the species in areas where populations have been reduced. Females give birth typically to one young at a time, after a gestation period around 5 months. The lifespan of a roloway monkey is about 20 years in the wild, while individuals in captivity live for more than 30 years. [5]


The roloway monkey has been classified as an endangered species by the IUCN due to rapid population declines over the last few decades (50-80%), mostly driven by habitat loss and hunting. This species is among the most threatened primates on the African continent, although exact figures for the species are not available. Recent surveys could not find evidence of it in Ghana's Bia National Park, where it was probably eliminated between the mid-1970s and 1990. [2]

The old-growth forest habitat required by the species continues to be reduced by large-scale deforestation through logging and agricultural conversion. In addition to predation by natural enemies such as crowned eagles, leopards, and chimpanzees, roloway monkeys are also frequent targets of human hunting for the bushmeat trade. Over 800 tons of bushmeat are sold in Ghana's markets every year. The roloway monkeys’ conspicuous colours and loud calls make them very susceptible to hunting. Their habitat is also becoming increasingly fragmented due to a decline in forest habitats and deforestation as human settlements expand and farming increases. In the past 100 years, Ghana has lost 80% of its forested lands. The species is listed as one of "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates". [7]

Related Research Articles

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Diana monkey Species of Old World monkey

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Yellow-tailed woolly monkey Species of New World monkey

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De Brazzas monkey Species of Old World monkey

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Black colobus Species of Old World monkey

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Campbells mona monkey Species of Old World monkey

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Red-eared guenon Species of Old World monkey

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Lesser spot-nosed monkey Species of Old World monkey

The lesser spot-nosed monkey, lesser spot-nosed guenon, lesser white-nosed guenon, or lesser white-nosed monkey is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae. It is found in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, and possibly Senegal.

Ursine colobus Species of Old World monkey

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Pennants colobus Species of Old World monkey

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Olive colobus Species of Old World monkey

The olive colobus monkey, also known as the green colobus or Van Beneden's colobus, is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae. Its English name refers to its dull olive upperparts. It is the smallest example of all colobine monkeys and is rarely observed in its natural habitat because of its cryptic coloration and secretive nature. It is found in the rain forests of West Africa, ranging from southern Sierra Leone to Nigeria. As of 2019, the IUCN Red List classifies the olive colobus as vulnerable, with the cause of its decline attributed to habitat loss and hunting. Though much of the land within the range of the olive colobus has been affected by human activities, it retains its ability to thrive in small degraded forest fragments.

Bale Mountains vervet Species of Old World monkey

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Lowes mona monkey Species of Old World monkey

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Niger Delta red colobus Species of Old World monkey

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Red-tailed monkey Species of Old World monkey

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  1. 1 2 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. 158. ISBN   0-801-88221-4. OCLC   62265494.
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  3. Bi, Sery Gonedelé; Koné, Inza; Béné, J-C K; Bitty, Anderson E.; Akpatou, Bertin K.; Bi, Zoro Goné; Ouattara, Karim; Koffi, Djaha André (September 2008). "Tanoé Forest, South-Eastern Côte-d'Ivoire Identified as a High Priority Site for the Conservation of Critically Endangered Primates in West Africa". Tropical Conservation Science. 1 (3): 265–278. doi: 10.1177/194008290800100307 .
  4. "Diana monkey". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004.
  5. 1 2 "Cecopithecus diana". Animal Diversity Web.
  6. Curtin, Sheila H. (2004). Diet of the Roloway Monkey, Cercopithecus diana roloway, in Bia National Park, Ghana. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. pp. 351–371. doi:10.1007/0-306-48417-X_23. ISBN   978-0-306-47346-3.
  7. Mittermeier, R.A.; Wallis, J.; Rylands, A.B.; Ganzhorn, J.U.; Oates, J.F.; Williamson, E.A.; Palacios, E.; Heymann, E.W.; Kierulff, M.C.M.; Long Yongcheng; Supriatna, J.; Roos, C.; Walker, S.; Cortés-Ortiz, L.; Schwitzer, C., eds. (2009). Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008–2010 (PDF). Illustrated by S.D. Nash. Arlington, VA.: IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG), International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI). pp. 1–92. ISBN   978-1-934151-34-1.