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Keywords:

  • Colobus badius rufomitratus;
  • Cercocebus galeritus galeritus;
  • population decline

Abstract

Censuses of the Tana River red colobus (Colobus badius rufomitratus) and crested mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus galeritus), primate species endemic to riverine forests of the lower Tana River in eastern Kenya, showed significant population declines for both species between the mid-1970s and 1980s. Red colobus declined in terms of group size and number of groups per forest; the mangabey population declined only in numbers of groups per forest. There was no significant change in mean group age/sex composition between the two time periods for either species. Differences in the feeding and ranging ecology of the two species may explain why the mangabey population suffered a less severe decline than the red colobus. Similarities in census results over 3 years in the late 1980s suggest that the primate populations are no longer decreasing.