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New Monkey Species Found in Uganda (3/21/2007)

Tags:
monkey, africa

Gray-Cheeked Mangabey - Lophocebus ugandae
Gray-Cheeked Mangabey - Lophocebus ugandae
The discovery of a new monkey species that’s found only in Uganda is being overshadowed by the imminent destruction of much of the animal’s habitat.

Primatologist Colin Groves from the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at ANU said his analysis of the gray-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena) in the small, central African nation has revealed that the local monkeys constitute a new species – but that there are plans afoot to clear the forest that’s home to a quarter of the animal’s population.

“By taking careful measurements of the skulls of the gray-cheeked mangabeys in Uganda, I discovered that they were considerably different compared to those of similar monkeys in surrounding countries,” Professor Groves said.

“These animals will soon be named the Ugandan gray-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus ugandae), making them the first monkey species endemic to Uganda.”

But Professor Groves said that the new species faces a serious threat if a plan to clear its major habitat area goes ahead. He said the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni had given permission for 7,000 hectares of the Mabira Forest to be cleared for sugar and palm oil production. This decision was attacked by many Ugandans, who saw it as a threat to tourism and water resources.

Professor Groves said the forest clearing would also be a catastrophic blow for the local mangabeys.

“This threat to the Mabira Forest makes it all the more urgent that L. ugandae is officially recognised as an endemic Ugandan monkey species.

“Although the species is widespread in the western and lakeshore forests of Uganda, it is very abundant in Mabira, and the loss of this population would probably mean that about a quarter of the total population would disappear.

“In an age where more and more animal species are coming under threat from human development and its consequences, it’s more important than ever that we safeguard our biodiversity. This seems even more pressing when it’s one of our near relatives, a fellow primate, that is facing extinction.”

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the Australian National University

Comments:

1. Tom

3/21/2007 6:28:22 PM MST

Yes, let's hold back development in one of the poorest parts of the world just because it will destroy a portion of a monkey's habitat...

Insanity.


2. Dee

3/21/2007 6:36:00 PM MST

Touche, Tom


3. Dan

3/21/2007 6:44:11 PM MST

Tom-
The article mentioned that many Ugandans are against the plan, due to the negative effects it would have, not limited to destorying the habitat of the monkeys. Who don't you explain why not destroying forest in the name of profits for plantation operators would be 'insane'?

thx
-Dan


4. Lee

3/21/2007 6:45:03 PM MST

Right. Because destroying forest ALWAYS makes the natives richer. just like the amazonian natives.


5. Jerod Bunch

3/21/2007 7:42:29 PM MST

Tom, Why do you need to clear natural habitats to develop your people? It's only for some crops, they could make millions selling stuff on ebay and not touch the forest :)

Eat a %&*#, you're a !&*#.


6. Valerie

3/21/2007 8:50:08 PM MST

Tamale Mirundi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur Wednesday that,

"We can grow trees anywhere but we cannot establish a factory anywhere. We cannot relocate a factory but we can relocate a forest by planting trees elsewhere."

This statement completely wrong and totally absurd. There is no way to “relocate” a forest. Your rainforest is more than “just trees” – it is an ecosystem where the plants and animals depend on each other for survival. The animals will not move to the forest you plant – they will instead die. The trees you plant will never replace the ecodiversity.

Of course, once the rainforest is gone, the remaining topsoil will be depleted within a couple of years and the land will dry up, reducing the water level of Lake Victoria, which is already in decline, reducing water supplies to Ugandans.


7. Walker

3/21/2007 9:00:52 PM MST

Tom speaks with the short-mindedness of a species unaware that he is quickly diminishing his own habitat.

In time, probably when/if Tom matures mentally and he surveys his surroundings he will come to terms with two constants:

1.) The 'humanity first' train of thought only gets you (and humanity so far).

2.) The Earth's survival will require a balance of species, and the only species that actively works against the Earth's survival is mankind.

It's our Earth to lose.


8. Michael Belivanakis

3/22/2007 4:11:02 AM MST

Plus, let us not forget one very important thing: Money cannot be eaten.


9. John Salmon

3/22/2007 4:49:17 AM MST

I don't know if anybody's noticed recently, but we already have ENOUGH human beings on Earth. How will adding another three or four BILLION humans make the world a better place for anybody? 99% of those humans will live in abject poverty and have miserable, pointless lives. Hundreds of millions of babies and children will DIE from disease. Why not just help the people who are ALREADY alive and encourage them to have less children, so that they can ALL live long, healthy happy lives? Why are so many people so blind when it comes to the obvious? The Earth would be MUCH better off if the human population were less than one billion. Then pollution would be a tenth of what it is now, global warming wouldn't even occur, wars would be rarer, and we'd ALL have much happier lives.


10. Jim Kirkpatrick

3/22/2007 6:47:22 AM MST

So according to John we should give the natives food but not without sterilizing them first. Otherwise, they'll have too many babies and take over the monkeys' natural habitat.


11. heden

3/22/2007 7:00:32 AM MST

all you do is attack each other. seriously.

you all pretend to understand about the workings of man. the true workings, and yet you have each misinterpreted [sp?] (sorry, im a programmer, not an english ..guy) ..

food is truly plentiful, money is arbritrary, and other species don't talk.

don't worry about what happens. the ugandans [sp?] will sort it out amongst themselves. i doubt any of them will read your rhetorics.

the monkies will be fine. failure to adapt is not a value that such creatures possess. remove the forest, they'll live in the village, unbeknownest to the people ..


12. Simon Gibson

3/22/2007 8:16:21 AM MST

My name is Simon. I like the monkeys fury erect tails.


13. Jack

3/22/2007 9:49:20 AM MST

Global warming happens with or without people. And yes, the poorest people are also the most ignorant and have the most children. They used to have a higher infant mortality but the caring western world has taught them to keep the babies from dying. Now they are having their own babies and overpopulating. Restricting access to clean water and medicine would allow the higher birth rates to be compensated for again (at the cost of millions of suffering and dying babies). The demographic transition is happening, but not as fast as we would like to see it. It's tough to get stable schools into regions with war lord running around. The U.S. is trying to take over the third world and will eventually accomplish this, but the monkies will probably not make it in the mean time. The plan has competely failed in Palestine due to the better educated but stubborn Palestinians who continue to have too many kids. (6 kids per woman birth rate) The kids are being born into suffering by their stubborn parents. They will not have jobs or any chance to better their lives. Africa will be no different, unless the people see reason and limit their family size.


14. Lindsey Shantae

3/22/2007 10:05:30 AM MST

i think that these monkeys are so cute in everyway but just like everyone else is saying stop the destroying the forestes they never did anything!


15. George

3/22/2007 11:04:06 AM MST

Those Monkeys looks delicious,
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, move them to farms before you destroy their forests. With all the hungry Ugandans it would be a shame to waste such a cuddly food supply.


16. Melissa

3/22/2007 1:32:51 PM MST

Lets not forget that we are related to these primates, and just like humans, they deserve a safe place to live and function. As a primatologist, I find these comments very barbaric and these monkeys have more culture than most of you "people"


17. Malthus

3/22/2007 2:29:50 PM MST

Those monkeys look just like most of the apes that live in the suburbs. Why waste all of the efforts to install roads and plumbing in the forests when you can just exercise eminent domain in the choice suburban parcels? You could even eat the suburbanites if you were starving. They think farms are a charming place to live. Everyone benefits!


18. Karl Owen

3/22/2007 3:16:59 PM MST

Do unto others as you would have them do to you. How would we feel if some superior species killed off 25% of our population and replaced it with farms? We would be outraged! If we all want to move civilisation forward we should stop exploiting others and live in harmony with nature.


19. lubega philip

3/28/2007 4:09:28 AM MST

whenever ihave to take my tea i use sugar and the sugar comes from the canes. but if i have to destroy a whole forest for the sake of taking tea with sugar, then am resorting to taking only water.
mabira is not about trees as some people are saying so as to justify their actions of degazerting it and that it can be relocated.
mabira is a big ecosytem full of different flora and fauna which i believe cannot be relocated.
so please leave our forest alone.


20. Al Ivan Carl

12/21/2008 9:55:34 PM MST

Cool new monkeys........ But i want to see real Dinausors and Dragons..... alive not died.... hahahaha.... Cool monkeys I LUV IT


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