Completed Research Projects
The Manyara Monkey: A New Subspecies of Monkey Endemic to Tanzania
In Primate Conservation (Issue 34, April 2020), Butynski and De Jong review the taxonomy and distribution of the eight subspecies of Gentle monkey Cercopithecus mitis and describe a new subspecies endemic to central north Tanzania, the Manyara Monkey Cercopithecus mitis manyaraensis. This new subspecies is named after Lake Manyara which lies near the centre of its geographic range.
Full article: Butynski, T.M. and De Jong, Y.A. 2020. Taxonomy and biogeography of the gentle monkey Cercopithecus mitis Wolf, 1822 (Primates: Cercopithecidae) in Kenya andTanzania, and designation of a new subspecies endemic to Tanzania. Primate Conservation 34.
Primates of East Africa, Pocket Identification Guide
Pocket Identification Guide with 70 taxa, 32 distribution maps and 73 drawings by Stephen Nash. Funded by Global Wildlife Conservation.
Geographic range, taxonomy, and conservation of the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza colobus monkey Colobus caudatus
The aim of this project was to assess the geographic range and conservation status of the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza, referred to as “Colobus guereza caudatus Thomas 1885”. This monkey is geographically very isolated, and phenotypically distinct from all other taxa of guereza monkeys. Application of the “Phylogenetic Species Concept” resurrects the Mount Kilimanjaro guereza to specific rank as Colobus caudatus.
Biogeography, Taxonomy, Abundance, and Conservation Status of the Primates of North-eastern Uganda
The biogeography, taxonomy, abundance, and conservation status of non-human primates in northeast Uganda remain poorly-known. The main goal of this project is to contribute towards the long-term conservation of the primates of northeast Uganda by obtaining the scientific information needed for assessing conservation status and for setting conservation priorities. The primary objectives of this primate survey are to: (1) Determine, to the subspecies level, which taxa of primate occur; (2) Obtain preliminary information on distribution, relative abundance, and habitat for each primate taxon; (3) Establish a baseline against which long-term trends in distribution and abundance can be assessed; (4) Determine the conservation status of all primate taxa and work with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and others to set priorities for the conservation of primates in northeast Uganda. Meeting these objectives is expected to stimulate interest in primate research and conservation in northeast Uganda, and improve on the current IUCN Red List assessments for those primate taxa that occur.
Research project funded by the National Geographic Society.
Read also: Technical report
Historic and current distribution, abundance, and habitats of Roosevelt’s sable antelope Hippotragus niger roosevelti in Kenya
ABSTRACT: Roosevelt’s sable Hippotragus niger roosevelti is one of Kenya’s most distinctive and threatened large mammals. Historically, sable herds occurred in the vicinity of Taveta, and in the miombo and Diospyros woodlands of the coastal hinterland from the Tanzania-Kenya border northward for at least 210 km. Most of the historic distribution of sable in Kenya lies 15–35 km inland from the coast at 100–200 m altitude where mean annual rainfall is 800–1200 mm. In terms of numbers, however, most sable occurred in the higher and wetter Shimba Hills (150–460 m; mean annual rainfall 1000–1200 mm). Bachelor males sometimes moved >150 km inland. Much of the decline of
the distribution and size of Kenya’s sable population occurred during 1950–1980. Sable in Kenya not reported outside of Shimba Hills National Reserve after 1994. Geographic distribution of sable herds in Kenya declined from roughly 5000 km² in 1884 to 70 km² today (>98% decline in 132 years). The number of sable in Kenya was already small as of 1884, when there were probably <400 individuals. Kenya’s sable population declined from >235 individuals in the mid-1970s to ca. 60 individuals in 2015 (>74% decline in 40 years). Given the low number, small distribution, and rapid decline, sable in Kenya qualifies as a nationally ‘Critically Endangered’ species. Recommendations for the conservation of sable in Kenya are provided.
Butynski TM, Parker I & De Jong YA 2015. Historic and current distribution, abundance, and habitats of Roosevelt’s sable antelope Hippotragus niger roosevelti (Heller, 1910) (Cerartiodactyla: Bovidae) in Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History 104(1&2): 41–77.
Distribution, Abundance, Ecology and Conservation Status of the Desert Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Central South Kenya
The primary objectives of this project were to: (1) Obtain information on the distribution and abundance of desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus and common warthog Phacochoerus africanus in central south Kenya; (2) Establish a baseline against which long-term trends in distribution and abundance of both warthog species can be determined and evaluated for the region; (3) Reassess the conservation status of both warthog species for the region.
Research project funded by Zoo New England.
Biogeography and Conservation Status of the Eastern Patas Monkey Erythrocebus patas pyrrhonotus in eastern Laikipia, Kenya
To manage Laikipia’s patas monkey population, it is important to monitor changes in its distribution and size. Patas surveys were conducted in Laikipia in 1979–1981 and 1992–2004. The Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, in cooperation with the Lolldaiga Hills Biodiversity Research Program, is currently conducting a third survey of this population. As for the previous two surveys, much of the data will be obtained through a questionnaire. All owners/managers of large properties in Laikipia are invited to take a few minutes to complete the below questionnaire.
Have you seen patas monkeys in Laikipia or elsewere in East Africa? To send us a reports of your encounters, click here!
Read also ‘Survey of the Patas Monkey in Laikipia’
Read also: Technical report
Distribution, Abundance, Ecology and Conservation Status of the Desert Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Northern Kenya
The primary objectives of this project were to: (1) Obtain information on the distribution and abundance of Phacochoerus aethiopicus and Phacochoerus africanus in northwestern and central north Kenya; (2) Establish a baseline against which long-term trends in distribution and abundance of both warthog species can be determined and evaluated for the region; (3) Obtain a large body of new ecological and behavioral data; (4) Reassess the conservation status of both warthog species for the region.
De Jong, Y.A. & Butynski, T.M. 2014. Distribution, Abundance, Ecology, and Conservation Status of the Desert Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in Northern Kenya. Unpublished Report to the National Geographic Society. Washington D.C.
Survey of the Primates of the Loita Hills, Kenya
The principal aims of this survey in the Loita Hills (central south Kenya) were to (1) determine, to the subspecies level, which primate taxa are present; (2) Obtain information on distribution and abundance of each primate taxon; (3) Obtain basic ecological information on each primate taxon (e.g., altitudinal limits, habitats used, group size); (4) Establish a baseline for the long-term monitoring of the status of each primate taxon; (5) Assess the treats to each primate taxon; and (6) Assess the conservation status of each primate taxon and, if necessary, make recommendations for conservation actions and research.
Primate Survey of the North Coast of Kenya: Biogeography, Diversity and Conservation
The principal aims of this survey of the north coast of Kenya were to (1) Document which species of primates and other large mammals are present; (2) Assess the geographic range and altitude limits of the primates; and (3) Examine intra-specific variation (phenotypic, vocal, habitat-use, etc.) for the primates. In addition, this assessment was designed to provide a rough indication of relative abundance and a baseline against which to monitor change.
De Jong, Y.A., Butynski, T.M. 2011. Primate Survey on the North Coast of Kenya. Biogeography, diversity and Conservation. Unpublished Report by the Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, Nanyuki, Kenya.
Description of Sykes’s Monkey Cercopithecus mitis x Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus Hybrids in Kenya
Natural hybrids have been reported for several species of African primates. An adult male monkey that is believed to be a Sykes’s monkey Cercopithecus mitis x vervet monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus hybrid was found at Diani, Kenya, in December 2008. This is both the first record of a hybrid between these species as well as between these genera. Two other C. mitis x C. pygerythrus hybrids are described.
Assessment of the Primates, Large Mammals and Birds of the Mathews Range Forest Reserve, Central Kenya
The Mathews Range Forest Reserve (ca. 940 km²) lies within the Namunyak Conservancy (ca. 3332 km²) and is the southern-most of the forest-covered chain of mountains that crosses the semi-arid plains of Samburu District in north-central Kenya. Knowledge of the biodiversity of the Mathews Range is sparse and scattered. From 2 – 14 June 2010, 278 km (128 h) of foot and vehicle surveys were undertaken in the Mathews Range and adjacent parts of Namunyak Conservancy. The principal aims of this survey were to (1) Document which species of primates, large mammals and birds were present and obtain an indication of abundance; (2) Determine the habitat used and altitude limits for these species; (3) Assess intra-specific variation (phenotypic, vocal, habitat-use) between the primate species of the Mathews Range and conspecifics at other sites; (4) Establish a baseline against which to monitor change; and (5) Assess threats to the biodiversity of the Mathews Range.
De Jong, Y.A. & Butynski, T.M. 2010. Assessment of the primates, large mammals and birds of the Mathews Range Forest Reserve, central Kenya. Unpublished report to The Nature Conservancy, Washington D.C.
Assessment of the Diversity and Conservation Status of Primates in the Coastal Forests of Kenya
Although primates represent one of the best-known taxonomic groups found in the coastal forests of Kenya, numerous important questions remain concerning their taxonomy, distribution, abundance, conservation status, and priorities for conservation actions.
The main aim of this project was to assess primate diversity, distribution, taxonomy and the conservation status of all primates in the coastal forests of Kenya.
Research project supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
De Jong, Y.A & Butynski, T.M. 2009. Primate Biogeography, Diversity, Taxonomy and Conservation of the Coastal Forests of Kenya. Report to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, Nanyuki, Kenya.
Body Measurements for the Monkeys of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
This article presents the first large set of body measurement data for each of the seven species of monkeys endemic to Bioko Island; means, ranges, standard deviations and sample sizes for seven body measurements. These 49 data sets derived from 544 fresh adult specimens (235 adult males and 309 adult females) collected by shotgun hunters for sale in the bushmeat market in Malabo.
Guide Training and Expansion of Nature Tourism Activities at Greystoke-Mahale, Tanzania
The aim of this project was to help establish Greystoke-Mahale itself as one of the premier primate-viewing and montane forest tourism destination in Africa.
See Greystoke Mahale Guide and Tracker Blog for natural history information for Mahale Mountains National Park.
Description of a New Potto Perodicticus potto stockleyi in Kenya
The potto Perodicticus potto is a small, arboreal, nocturnal primate with an extensive, but poorly-known, distribution through tropical Africa, and a debated taxonomy. This project (1) examined the Eastern Rift Valley as a major barrier to primate distribution in eastern Africa, (2) reviewed the taxonomy of P. potto, (3) described the distribution of the eastern potto P.p. ibeanus, (4) summarized what is known about the body size, abundance, elevation and rainfall limits of P.p. ibeanus, (5) provided evidence for the presence of P. potto east of the Eastern Rift Valley, and (6) described, named, and discussed a new subspecies of Perodicticus for Mount Kenya (the ’Mount Kenya potto’ Perodicticus potto stockleyi).
Butynski, T. M. & de Jong, Y. A., 2007. Distribution of the potto (Primates: Lorisidae) Perodicticus potto (Müller, 1776) in Eastern Africa, with a description of a new subspecies from Mount Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History 96:113-147.
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Conservation Status of Three Species of Dwarf Galagos (Galagoides) in Eastern Africa
This study reviewed the complicated nomenclatural history for the Kenya coast galago, Galagoides cf. cocos, and examined whether ‘cocos’ is the valid species name for this recently resurrected taxon. It also reviewed the phenotypic and vocal differences among G. cocos; the Zanzibar galago (Galagoides zanzibaricus zanzibaricus); the Udzungwa galago (Galagoides zanzibaricus udzungwensis); and the Mozambique galago (Galagoides granti), as well as their geographic ranges and conservation status.
Butynski, T.M., de Jong, Y.A., Perkin, A.W., Bearder, S.K., & Honess, P.E. 2006. Taxonomy, Distribution, and Conservation Status of Three Species of Dwarf Galagos (Galagoides) in Eastern Africa. Primate Conservation 21: 63-79.