Cercopithecus diana roloway
The West African Roloway guenon is a sub-species of the more commonly
known Diana guenon. A large proportion of African monkeys are from the
guenon family, with
most of them living in the forest areas of Central Africa. They are
amongst the most beautiful monkeys due to their brightly coloured fur.
The Roloway guenon has an elegant appearance due to its fine body
structure. The long tail is used to balance when travelling in trees.
Their fur is black on the head, the back and on the outer arms and
legs. The underside and the inner limbs are white while the lower back
becomes a reddish colour. A white goat-like beard, a feature that
distinguishes it from the Diana guenon, contrasts the black face.
Forest areas from the Sassandra River in the eastern part of Cote
d’Ivoire to the Volta River of eastern Ghana.
This guenon lives in the upper canopy of pristine forest but can also
be found occasionally in secondary forest areas.
Females give birth around December- February after 5 months of
pregnancy. The youngsters stay in close contact with their mothers for
6 months and drink milk throughout this time. At the age of 4 -5 years
they become sexually mature. In captivity they live up to 20 years.
Roloway guenons eat mainly fruit, blossom and young leaves. Moreover,
they also pick insects from leaves or catch them in mid air.
Roloway guenons live in groups of 15 – 25 individuals. Usually one male
forms a group with 6 – 8 females and their offspring. The females stay
in their natal group whereas the males leave their group when they
reach sexual maturity. They then move singly or follow another group. A
group’s territory covers an area of 28 – 90 ha. Their residency is
marked especially by the loud calls of the males, which can be heard
throughout the forests. Roloway guenons often move together with other
primate species, especially with the Olive colobus (Procolobus verus).
The latter seems to prefer travelling with a group of Roloway guenons
as they are very alert and detect potential predators long before the
Colobus monkeys do.
Wild populations of Roloway guenons have decreased dramatically within
the last 40 years, which marks them as extremely threatened by
extinction. They are recorded by the World Conservation Organization
(IUCN) in the category of animals most likely to become extinct. This
is due to the fact that in their whole range there are not more than
1000 individuals remaining.