Photo credit: Teresa Hart/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cercopithecus lomamiensis

But “LESULA” is both singular and plural

Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.

Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.

Lesula occupy a geographic range of about 6,564 sq m (17,000 sq km) in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern central basin, in Africa.

  • The lesula was discovered by conservationists in 2007 in a remote village in DR Congo where a young female was being kept as a pet
  • After encountering several other young pet lesulas, the team sought to find wild populations, which they discovered about six months later
  • In 2012, genetic testing revealed that the lesula is a species that is distinct from its closest relative, the owl-faced monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni)
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed the population and threats to the species as Vulnerable in July 2019
  • The assessment is based on the lesula’s decreased population due to unregulated hunting for bushmeat
 There is a high risk of endangerment in the wild.

Bushmeat hunting

  1. Lesula are wild animals. Their diet and environmental needs cannot be adequately met or replicated in human living conditions. 
  2. To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers or, as in the case of the lesulas, the mothers are killed for bushmeat. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
  3. Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild. 
  4. Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
  5. Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
  6. Lesulas belong with other guenons in the forests of DR Congo. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.

Visit the LESULA Primate Species Profile

 Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2019. You may freely use and share these learning activities for educational purposes. 
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected].