BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 PRIMATE SPECIES YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF
#10 SANJE MANGABEY
also known as the SANJE RIVER MANGABEY and the SANJE CRESTED MANGABEY
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.
Sanje mangabeys are native to Tanzania, a sovereign state of eastern Africa. They only live in Tanzania’s Udzungwa Mountains, residing on the eastern slopes.
- Of the world’s entire Sanje mangabey population, about 60% lives in the Mwanihana Forest within Udzungwa Mountains National Park; the remaining 40% lives within the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, southwest of Mwanihana Forest
- Habitat destruction has isolated the two populations from one another; no interaction between the two groups is known to occur
- More than half their diet—which includes 90 species of plants—consists of fruits, and nearly a third of their diet consists of seeds. Seasonal availability determines which fruits they eat. They round out their meal plan with a smattering of insects, leaves, flowers, fungi, and the occasional snail or lizard.
- Considered a relatively new species, the Sanje mangabey was discovered by happenstance in 1979
- Estimated remaining population: 1,300-3,500 individuals
Sanje mangabey populations are decreasing. Most recent available population estimates range from 2,800 to 3,500 animals. But researchers caution that more a precise census is needed to accurately determine the species’s total population. Habitat loss, due to deforestation, is a major threat to the species’s survival. Timber and charcoal production have destroyed pristine habitat.
Poaching is a serious threat to the Sanje mangabey population residing within Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, where they are hunted and slaughtered for bushmeat. Locals, for whom poaching is a dubious livelihood, occasionally use dogs to hunt the monkeys; more typically, they use snares. Sometimes, the mangabeys are caught in snares that have been set to capture other species.
- Sanje mangabeys are wild animals. Their diet and environmental needs cannot be adequately met or replicated in human living conditions.
- To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
- Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- 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.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Sanje mangabeys belong with other Sanje mangabeys in Tanzania, East Africa. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.