When the hotline started ringing I answered expecting to hear the usual story of a Vervet or Sykes lying dead on the side of the road, but for once it was happy news! Ricardo, owner of Water Lovers resort, was calling to say a new Colobus baby had been born that morning. I went down to check on it at 3 days old, and it looks very content in the arms of its mother. The proud new parents remained wary of my intrusion, but allowed me to take some photos of the baby, who is tiny, snowy white, and appears to be in good health. We will keep an eye on it on our weekly Colobus checks and we hope that it will thrive.
The baby Colobus with its parents
Cheza, Luciana’s Troop
To keep up-to-date with the actual number of Colobus monkey population in Diani – which also tells a lot about the conservation situation – The Colobus Trust is now launching the Colobus Monitoring again. This means that at least once a week, a team of volunteers and staff members go out in Diani and systematically track the Colobus Troops of Diani. The Colobus check includes collecting data about the number of monkeys, the sex and age of every individual, where and when they were spotted and where they were heading. Each Colobus troop has its own favourite spot of the forest and more or less they stay within this area. This is why we can name the troops and be almost sure of where they can be found.
During the last weeks, our team has been out in the field counting these black-and-white monkeys, and so far – ¼ of the Diani area checked – we have found 100 monkeys, belonging to 13 different troops, which looks very promising. Also, the large number of Colobus infants is surprising, and means that the future for these monkeys looks much brighter than before.
Chip, Luciana’s Troop
Nevertheless, we have to remember that this is mainly due to conservation work, such as building the colobridges, tree-trim around the electric wires, de-snaring programmes and wildlife & environmental education of locals which is only possible to carry out with the support from all of you. An increased number of Colobus monkeys in Diani means our work really contributes to ensuring its survival and breeding, which of course is very encouraging! So keep up the good work, we still have a long way to go.
Anna Sandahl, Colobologist