ANGOLA COLOBUS MONKEY
Angolan Colobus monkeys are among the primates the world has today. The Angolan Colobus monkeys have black hair with a white brow band, cheeks, and throat. They have long hair and the lower parts of the tail are white as is the band on the buttocks.
Colobus monkeys are found in Kenya, Tanzania, Usambaras, South Pares, Nguru, Nguu, Uluguru, Rwanda, and Uganda among others.
It’s unfortunate that Angolan Colobus are at a risk from habitat loss and hunting. Its highly fragmented range suggests that we expect to see declining numbers in association with the further fragmentation and loss of habitat in both Kenya and Tanzania. African species include the Olive, Red and Pied. The Pied colobus include the Black, Western Pied, Angola Pied, Geoffroy's Pied and the Guereza.
As are all colobus, the Angolan colobus monkey is diurnal, they have flattened nails, pads on their buttocks, and their hind legs are longer than their fore limbs. These are typical characteristics of old world monkeys. However, the specific features of Colobines are due to their unique dietary adaptations.
Angola Colobus monkeys eat feed on leaves, fruits and flowers and have no cheek pouches, are arboreal (live in the tree canopy and rarely come down to the ground) and have a light-weight bone structure and elongated limbs - making it easier to leap from branch to branch. The reduction of the thumb is an adaptation to arboreal living as the fingers have become aligned into a single, narrow curved arc that allows the hand to act as a flexible hook.
The stomachs of Angolan Colobus Monkeys are large and have three chambers, which carries specific bacteria that help to ferment and digest food. The majority of their diet is made up of young and mature leaves - 46 species eaten but only five species make the greatest proportion of their diet.
Because of the poor nutritional quality of their food, they browse intensively for many hours each day. They digest two to three kg of leaves per day (one third of their full body weight), and also eat seeds, unripe fruits and flowers. Some species of Colobus are known to eat soil, clay and charcoal which is thought to assist in the digestion of toxic leaves.
Babies and Families of Colobus Monkeys
Infants are born strikingly white, and then turn grey and black and then by three months of age, to the adult colouration of black and white. They are born throughout the year but a birth peak is seen in September and October. Colobine infants are known for their flamboyant colouration, which is remarkably different than the adult. This is considered an adaptation for encouraging 'aunting behaviour' where other females in the group are attracted to the newborn and spend time caring for the young. This supposedly frees up maternal time for feeding. As is known amongst the Colobines, the nutritional value to their diet is low and the stresses of rearing offspring put enormous pressure on the female. Aunting behaviour thus counteracts the burden of nursing.
Females remain in their natal group for life but male move to for new groups or join another group after over throwing the dominant male. The males defend the territory and troop from predators whereas the dominant female leads the troop.
You can trek Colobus moneys in Ugandas' Mgahinga National Park or in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park but Gorilla tours still dominates other tourist activities in Uganda and Rwanda.