RED COLOBUS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Eco and Env)

News-CRUX-10     1st May 2024        

Context: A recent study by an international team of scientists highlighted that Red colobus monkeys serve as primary indicators of biodiversity decline in the continent's tropical forests, suggesting that conserving them could be crucial for protecting these vital ecosystems.

Red Colobus

  • About: These a rare group of imperilled monkeys spread across Africa.
  • Classification: Red colobuses belong to the Old World monkey genus Piliocolobus, formerly considered a subgenus within Procolobus.
  • Relationship with Other Species: They are closely related to black-and-white colobus monkeys and are often found in groups with blue monkeys.
  • Hunting: The western red colobus faces significant predation pressure from common chimpanzees.
  • Geographical Distribution: Red colobus monkeys inhabit regions spanning from Senegal to Zanzibar.
  • Dietary Distinction: Red colobus monkeys represent one of two major simian groups globally, known as colobines.
  • Feeding Behavior: Colobines, including red colobus monkeys, primarily consume leaves, distinguishing them from the omnivorous cercopithecines.
  • Complexity: Colobines, encompassing species like langurs and African colobus monkeys, must carefully select and process plant materials due to their specialized diet.
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.