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Extinction of a West African Red Colobus Monkey

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Abstract:

We provide the first documented case of the extinction in the twentieth century of a widely recognized primate taxon. During surveys in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in 1993–1999, we were unable to find any surviving populations of Miss Waldron's red colobus monkey (  Procolobus badius waldroni), a primate taxon endemic to the forests of this part of West Africa. We conclude that this monkey, which at least one authority considers worthy of species status, is probably extinct. Hunting by humans appears to be the ultimate cause of the extinction. Until our surveys began, little attention had been paid to the plight of this red colobus monkey, despite its listing as endangered by the World Conservation Union. The extinction of other large animals in the Upper Guinea rainforest region is likely to follow soon unless more attention is paid to the full range of endangered forms and more resources are devoted to their rigorous protection.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, Hunter College/City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021, U.S.A. 2: Ghana Wildlife Department, Box M.239, Ministry Post Office, Accra, Ghana 3: Department of Anthropology, Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH 44906, U.S.A. 4: Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University, Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A. 5: Department of Biology, Guilford Technical Community College, Box 309, Jamestown, NC 27282, U.S.A.

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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