This African monkey was thought to be extinct, it was last spotted in the 1970’s and in this year it was spotted again by researchers.
The monkey lives in groups in swampy forest along the Congo River, in the Republic of Congo.
The population of the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey decreased due to hunting and logging, and it was believed that they have gone extinct.
Researchers, Lieven Devreese of Belgium and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo of the Republic of the Congo, were set off to track the species.
The expedition was funded by crowdfunding from the website Indiegogo and from Wildlife Conservative Society.
Devreese said, “Our photos are the world’s first [of the monkey], and confirm that the species is not extinct.”
There are several species of the red colobus monkey. Only the Bouviers red species have been known from the specimens that were collected 100 years ago.
Wildlife Conservative Society said one of the reasons for the monkeys to be vulnerable to bushmeat hunters is because they have little fear of humans, so instead of fleeing away from hunters, they stay and gaze at them from trees.
Fiona Maisels, a biologist and expert on Central Africa for the Wildlife Conservation Society said, “Thankfully, many of these colobus monkeys live in the recently gazetted national park and are protected from threats such as logging, agriculture and roads, all of which can lead to increased hunting.”
The researchers first spotted the monkeys on the Bokiba River in the Republic of Congo’s Ntokou-Pikounda National Park; the national park protects chimpanzees, gorillas and elephants.
Researchers said, “After searching the swamps on the left bank of the Bokiba River for four days, changing camp twice — and just before running out of food, battery and courage — we finally found a group of Bouvier’s red colobus monkeys on Monday.”