American Journal of Primatology, May 2012, Vol.74(5), pp.423-432
Until recently, the Bale monkey (), an arboreal primate endemic to the southern Ethiopian highlands, remained virtually unstudied, and its distribution pattern inadequately documented. To broaden our knowledge of the species’ distribution and abundance, we carried out interviews with local people and total count surveys for Bale monkeys across 67 fragmented forest sites in human‐dominated landscapes in the Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Regions, Ethiopia. From January 2010 to May 2011, we discovered 26 new Bale monkey populations inhabiting forest fragments at elevations ranging from 2,355 to 3,204 m asl. Across these populations, we recorded 37 groups ranging in size from 9 to 29 individuals (Mean = 19.5, SD = 4.5), for a total of 722 individuals. Black‐and‐white colobus monkeys () were sympatric with Bale monkeys at all sites, while grivet monkeys () were found only at sites where Bale monkeys did not occur. All of the newly discovered Bale monkey sites once contained bamboo forest, though at 35% of the sites bamboo forest had been eliminated during the past two decades. The persistence of Bale monkeys at fragmented sites lacking bamboo suggests greater habitat flexibility for the species than previously thought, though the long‐term viability of populations both with and without bamboo remains uncertain. Human hunting in response to crop raiding, a behavior the monkeys engaged in at all sites, represents a major threat facing the newly discovered Bale monkey populations. Furthermore, despite their current lack of sympatry, apparently hybrid individuals between Bale monkeys and grivets were noted at three sites, posing yet another potential obstacle to Bale monkey conservation. Community conservation programs aimed at (1) protecting remaining habitat fragments, (2) planting bamboo and trees within and between fragments, and (3) reducing crop raiding represent the only hope for survival of the newly discovered Bale monkey populations. Am. J. Primatol. 74:423‐432, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Chlorocebus Djamdjamensis ; Conservation ; Crop Raiding ; Distribution ; Forest Fragmentation ; Hybridization