Newly Discovered Monkey Is Threatened With Extinction


Just three years after it was discovered, a new species of monkey is threatened with extinction according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which recently published the first-ever census of the endangered primate. Known as the “kipunji,” the large, forest-dwelling primate hovers at 1,117 individuals, according to a study released in the July issue of the journal Oryx.

ding to a study released in the July issue of the journal Oryx.


The population estimate was the result of more than 2,800 hours of field work by WCS scientists in the Southern Highlands and Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania where the kipunji was discovered. The team found that the monkey’s range is restricted to just 6.82 square miles (17.69 square kilometers) of forest in two isolated regions.

The authors also discovered that much of the monkey’s remaining habitat is severely degraded by illegal logging and land conversion. In addition, the monkey itself is the target of poachers. Because of these combined threats, WCS proposes that the kipunji should be classified by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as “critically endangered” – which means it is threatened with extinction in the wild if immediate conservation action is not taken.

“The kipunji is hanging on by the thinnest of threads,” said Dr. Tim Davenport, Tanzania Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We must do all we can to safeguard this extremely rare and little understood species while there is still time.”

Along with the IUCN designation, WCS is investing in the protection and restoration of the kipunji’s remaining habitat and local conservation education of local people to help safeguard remaining populations.

The kipunji first made headlines in 2005 when a team of scientists led by WCS announced its discovery. Then in 2006, the monkey made news again when DNA analysis revealed that the species represented an entire new genus of primate—the first since 1923.


The Wildlife Conservation Society is working throughout Tanzania to save wildlife and wild lands.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit:

Adapted from materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

1 Comment

Filed under animals, biodiversity, endangered, environment, environmentalism, extinction, nature, wildlife, zoology

One response to “Newly Discovered Monkey Is Threatened With Extinction

  1. Jason Ali, Hong Kong

    “We are in the early stages of what could easily become the biggest mass extinction the planet has ever seen” – seee hysterical message above.

    Absolute piff. The continents are in the wrong configuration (too spreadout), the climate is too temperate, and the global shore-line length too long for a mass extinction comparable to that which happened at the P-T boundary 251 Ma (when Pangea was at its maximum size), or the K-T boundary dinosaur-killing event happened, 65.5 Ma. Calm down we are not going to die. In 20 years, global warming worrying will then be a tad passe, and you’ll all be wetting your knickers about something else.

    If you are a bit of a worrier (let’s face it, a large number of humanoids are half-empty types), an infinitely more pressing issue is the tensions which will develop over the next 10-50 years between the Yanks (who are economically stuffed and are just about to drift over the waterfall), the Russians (who are bonkers white supremacist “niggers”) and the Chinese (who truly believe that they are the “chosen race”). The world in 50-100 years time will very definitely not be very nice. I am going to persuade my daughter (5 years now) not to have kids.

    Hugs and kisses, Dr Jason

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