The Red Colobus Monkey is a herbivorous tree monkey that lives on the island of Zanzibar. Their bone structure is flexible, allowing them to hop between trees. They also have a lengthy tail, which they only use to balance themselves. The Zanzibar archipelago has three kinds of woodland areas, as well as coastal thickets and agricultural areas, where Red Colobus Monkeys can be found.
An endangered species
The endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey is found only on the island of Zanzibar. Sir John Kirk discovered them on the island of Unguja, and they are usually found there. In Zanzibar, this monkey has become a focal point for conservation efforts. Because their population continues to drop, several conservation organizations are collaborating to develop a strategy that will protect their habitat and safeguard their future numbers.
When rising sea levels drove many of them inland, causing them to develop from their former state, the Red Colobus Monkey was able to withstand a huge natural calamity. Their size differs from that of other colobus monkey species, and they have considerably smaller heads due to the scarcity of food in the area. The red and black coats of these monkeys, as well as their modest size, make them stand out. They can reach a maximum weight of 12 kg and, in comparison to other monkey species, have a stronger odour. This is why many Swahili people refer to them as “poison monkeys.”
Habitats of the Red Colobus Monkey
These monkeys dwell in three different types of forests on the main island. The government has established several protected zones, including a 25-square-kilometre land reserve. These monkeys are usually seen in small groups of four males and many females. A family of these monkeys will normally comprise 30 to 50. They eat a variety of things, including leaves, almonds, fruits, bark, deadwood, leaf buds, and more. During the dry season, these monkeys are forced to leave their safe zone, putting them at risk of predators and becoming trapped in deforested areas without water or food. In Zanzibar, efforts to save this unusual mammal from extinction will continue.