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Primate

    Conservation

        Inc.     UPDATE

Director's Report - 2001

In 2001 PCI enters its 8th year providing grants to help study and protect the least known and most endangered primates. As Director, I would like to highlight some of the researchers, their projects, and conservation efforts. Although a majority of our grants are given to beginning graduate students, several of these students have finished their Ph.D. programs and are thus referred by the title they have earned.

Conservation is a long-term commitment. What these endangered primates most need is funding to provide extended support for ongoing projects that are their best hope for the survival. A commitment of 5 to 10 thousand dollars per year for 10 years would assure that conservation efforts would continue long enough to establish themselves. Though PCI has an important niche of getting researchers into the field to begin their work, we really feel the need to be able to help some projects over an extended period of time to provide effective conservation.

Viet Nam
            Until November of this year the Tonkin snub nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus avunculus (first documented photographically by a Vietnamese and American survey in 1992) was thought to remain in only in two tiny forests comprising the Na Hang Nature Reserve in the far North of Viet Nam. But this year researchers who have received past support from PCI confirmed a second population in another remnant forest about 50 miles away from Na Hang. Conservation efforts are currently expanding and this discovery gives the Tonkin monkey a little more hope of survival. However, threats continue. Hunting is still widely practiced and development schemes, including roads and a dam are planned in the area near the reserve.

One of PCI’s first grants was to Lois Lippold Ph.D. for one of the first surveys for douc langurs in Viet Nam by a Western primatologist since the wars end. In the eight years since that grant was given, a new subspecies of douc langur Pygathrix nemaeus cincerus was found, described and is the subject of an ongoing conservation project by Dr. Lippold and Vietnamese researcher Vu Noc Thanh.

Indonesia

            Sharon Gursky Ph.D. watched spectraltarsiers mob the python, joining together, lunging and retreating at a snake much larger than themselves. Mobbing was only one of the surprising behaviors Dr. Gursky, an early PCI grant recipient, observed as she followed tarsiers through the night to report their behavior. Once thought to be indifferent parents who left their infants alone for extended periods of time, Dr. Gursky found that tarsiers instead cache their infants nearby while they forage for insects and small vertebrates.

In another PCI supported project with tarsiers, Myron Shekelle began a genetic study to assist in the identification of new taxa. Results are expected in 2001. It will be exciting to learn what has been found by Myron and his colleagues about these faunivorous primates.

For the first time wild orangutans have been observed using tools. Beth Fox's grant to study orangutans in a lowland swamp in Sumatra helped to documented these intelligent apes using sticks to both feed on social insects that have hidden nests in tree holes and to extract the meat from very hard shelled fruits.

            PCI is proud to have helped Lisa Paculli begin and continue her long-term study and conservation project on the pig tailed langur Simias concolor in the Mentawai Islands off the island of Sumatra. As a result of her work with the government, illegal logging was halted in 1998 and a 600 hectare protected area was established. She was the subject of a recent article in International Wildlife magazine (June, 2000) which shows the destruction caused by logging this forest.

India

Prevented by local authorities from radio collaring the slender lorises in her study, dedicated PCI grantee Kimberly Nekaris followed these small, elusive and nocturnal primates with a flash light on their nightly rounds. One of two projects in Southern India supported by PCI to study two different loris subspecies, Kimberly found that slender lorises were not as solitary as previously presumed but are more social, often resting in close proximity to one other and sleeping together during the day among dense vegetation. 

            Primates in India have been the subject of several other grants including an early PCI effort assisting the study of the ecology of lion tailed macaques by R. Kishnamurthi and a recent conservation project on golden langurs by Jihosus Biswas and Dilip Chetry to document how a 18 year reforestation project effects the ability of these endangered langurs to survive.
Madagascar

In 1992 it was very difficult to find the extremely rare bamboo lemurs in Ranamafana National Park but by 1998 guides could take you to whichever species you wanted to observe. This would never have happened without the work of Chia Tan and other dedicated researchers and field assistants that habituated these primates to humans. They followed these lemurs from sunup to sunset, upslope and down, often through wet forest. Chia’s three-year study of the three bamboo lemurs in the Park has shown how three closely related species of different sizes share the same habitat. Though they all eat bamboo, they each concentrate on different bamboo species. 


Greater bamboo lemur eating giant bamboo

The bamboo lemur study groups have become one of the main tourist attractions in the park. This helps conserve wildlife by bringing much needed cash to the park and the local community.

Only a year after PCI supported Malagasy native and Ph.D. candidate Jonah Ratsimbazafy began his research in Manombo Reserve, this rare remnant lowland rain forest on southern Madagascar’s east coast was hit by one of the worst cyclones ever seen in the area. The winds were so strong that more than 80% of forest canopy was blown down. Jonah study 


Jonah (second from the left) at Manombo

now includes observations to determine if lemurs, especially the black and white lemur Varecia variegata variegata can adapt to large scale natural habitat alteration. To date Varecia have only been found in pristine primary forest, because they rely on large fruit bearing trees, this study may well tell us if an endangered species living in a fairly large remnant forest can survive a single violent storm.

Humans have reduced the populations of many primates and forced them into ever smaller patches of forest where they become very susceptible to being wiped out by random natural events, introduced diseases, human hunting and other calamities. Whereas a larger population with a bigger intact forest could probably survive these problems.

PCI provided partial funding for studies of two subspecies of diadem sifaka. The all black sifaka Propithecus diadema perrieri, lives in the far North of Madagascar. The all white silky sifaka P.d. candidus, lives in the mountains of the Northeast. It is possible they are valid species not subspecies. PCI supported researcher Mireya Major will collect DNA samples of all the diadema subspecies to investigate their degree of genetic similarity.

Madagascar is the only home of lemurs. Little is known about many lemur species and subspecies. Little time is left to study these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat because of the rapid destruction of Madagascar’s forests and wildlife. This is due to an increasing human population and widespeard poverty.

Central and South America

Although PCI gives preference to projects in West Africa and Asia, support has been provided to research and conservation efforts in the Neotropics. In Bolivia Leila Porter studied Goeldi’s marmoset Calimico goeldi and found that they eat a great deal of fungus during the dry season when other food is scarce. PCI funded her first project in 1997. Through her efforts her study site will become part of a new protected area, conserving this and thousands of other rain forest species.

Two recent projects in Brazil are still underway. One by Milene Martins is on the largest primate in South America the muriqui Brachyteles arachnoides and the other by Beatrix Perez-Sweeney is a study of the diminutive and critically endangered black lion tamarin Leontopitecus chrysopygus 

Zanzibar

When Kristin Seix began her research in 1996 to study the Zanzibar red colobus Procolobus pennanti kirki she found this endangered primate was being killed by cars speeding through the park. Documenting the fatalities in her reports to the local authorities, she continued her conservation efforts until last year when an agreement was reached with the local community to place speed bumps in the road at the most common accident sites. Since these bumps were installed red colobus roadkills have decreased by 78-93%.  

Central African Republic

PCI helped fund the first comparative study of the two genuses Cercocebus and Lophocebus in the same forest. These two species were thought to be closely related and were included in one genus until  10 years ago. The gray cheeked managbey Lophoocebus albigena lives in the trees in small groups where as the agile mangabey Cercocebus agilis spends most of its time in a large troop on the ground. After almost three years of data collection Natasha Shah will soon publish her results which will help us to understand the ecological needs of these species. 

Nigeria

In 1998 Rebecca Stump et. al. published a museum study of the skulls of gorillas found in Eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon. They were found to be different enough from others to be declared a new subspecies, Gorilla gorilla dehlia. Kelly McFarland conducted the first study of this endangered population numbering approximately 200 individuals. PCI also funded Nigerian citizen Ernest Nwofoh to continue monitoring these gorillas and supported a DNA study to be conducted by Richard Beryl to determine how closely these gorillas are related to other members of their species. Without the efforts of these and other dedicated conservationist including Dr. John Oates, this population could have disappeared before we even knew it was different.

            Ludwig Werre did an ecological study of a subspecies of red colobus in the Niger Delta. This taxon was only discovered and described in the 1990’s. He has helped establish a community based protected area for this species.


Drawing of Miss Waldroni’s Colobus by Stephen Nash

Ghana

The last hopes of finding Miss Waldron’s red colobus Procolobus badius waldroni faded for Scott McGraw and Michael Abeti Lartey as they observed the litter of shotgun shells through the lowland swamp, a supposedly protected area where this loud and gregarious monkey was rumored to still survive. This, the last of four successive surveys which PCI helped fund, ended the search for Miss Waldron’s red colobus, as each forest fragment within its range was found empty. Colobus are often the first to be shot out of the trees and thrown on a truck for the market in towns and cities as bushmeat. An article in the New York Times announced its end September 12th. It is the first primate to be declared extinct in the new millenium.

There is still hope for other endangered primate species and we must not let another one go extinct. With your support PCI will be able to continue to provide funds for conservationists and researchers dedicated to studying and protecting the least known and most endangered primates. 

Republic of Congo

If gorillas exist in Northeastern Congo, they are 300 hundred of miles between the known range of the Western lowland gorilla G. g. gorilla and the Eastern lowland gorilla G. beringei graueri. PCI’s most recent action fund grant is for a survey of this area. If they are found there they may even be a subspecies new to science. This has happened once it could happen again with your support. There is so much more to learn about primates and we must use this knowledge to protect them.

PCI is an all-volunteer, tax deductible private operating 501 (c) (3) foundation. Since our first grant in 1993 we have supported with full or partial or renewal funding 135 projects in 24 countries with primate habitats. Projects in Asia have received 40% of our funding, African projects 32%, Madagascar 22%, and South America 6%. Grants have gone to study leaf monkeys (24%), apes (23%), lemurs (22%), cheek pouch monkeys (15%), prosimians (6%), new world monkeys (6%) and tarsiers (4%).

In order to keep our overhead to a minimum, so that as much of the money raised is used to support field conservation projects, we only send one newsletter per year. This is our annual appeal for your donations. You will not receive other mail from us nor will we share your name with others. We appreciate your support.

If you would like to contribute cash, stock or real estate to PCI or would like more information on a specific project please contact me at the address below.

            Sincerely,
            Noel Rowe

 



The first ever photograph of a
wild grey shanked Douc Langur
Photo by Vu Noc Than who is a 
Vietnamese researcher and
 professor at Hanoi University

Director's Report - 2000

The mission of Primate Conservation Inc. is to give grants for research and conservation of the least known and most endangered primates. We are proud to be helping individuals who are doing the difficult work in the field studying and protecting these species. 
The January 17, 2000 edition of “Time Magazine” reported on Primates on the Brink; the top 25 most endangered primates.” The article originated from the chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Primate Specialist Group, Dr. Russell Mittermeier . The article had a picture of each endangered taxa along with a short description of where it occurs. Though PCI is a small organization, in its seven years of operation it has helped to fund research and conservation projects on over half of these 25 species. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our generous donors. We salute them for helping to make a difference and hope they will continue their support.

World's Top 25 
Most Endangered Primates

PCI has funded projects studying and protecting the species highlighted in bold type.

Madagascar

1. Golden bamboo lemur Hapalemur aureus 
2. Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur Hapalemur griseus alotrensis 


3. Perrier's sifaka Propithecus diadema perrieri 
4. Silky sifaka Propithecus diadema candidus 
5.. Golden-crowned sifaka Propithecus tattersalli 

South America

6. Black lion tamarin Leontopithecus chrysopygus Brazil
7. Golden lion tamarin Leontopithecus rosalia Brazil
8.. Black-faced lion tamarin Leontopithecus caissara Brazil
9. Buff-headed capuchin Cebus xanthosternos Brazil
10. Yellow-tailed woolly monkey Lagothrix flavicauda Peru
11. Northern muriqui Brachyteles hypoxanthus Brazil 

Africa

12. Miss Waldron's red colobus Procolobus badius waldroni Ghana and Ivory Coast 
13. Sclater's guenon Ceropithecus sclateri Nigeria 
14. Sanje mangabey Cerocebus sanje Tanzania
15. White-naped mangabey Cerocebus atys lunulatus Ghana and Ivory Coast 
16. Drill Mandrillus leucophaeus Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria\
17. Cross River gorilla Gorilla gorilla diehli Nigeria 18. Mountain gorilla Gorilla gorilla beringei Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda 

Asia

19. Gray-shanked douc langur Pygathrix cinerea Vietnam
20. Cat Ba Island golden-headed langur Trachypithecus poliocephalus Vietnam 
21. Delacour's langur Trachypithecus delacouri Vietnam 
22. Tonkin snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus avunculus Found in: Vietnam 
23. Hainan gibbon Hylobates concolor hainanus Vietnam and China
24. Javan gibbon Hylobates moloch Indonesia
25. Sumatran orangutan Pongo abelii Indonesia

REPORT OF PRIMATES SURVEYS IN 
EASTERN MADAGASCAR
By Dr. Shawn M. Lehman
Department of Anthropology SUNY-Stony Brook &
Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

With generous support from Primate Conservation, Inc. I conducted some of the first primate surveys in a large forest corridor from October 1999 to March 2000 in eastern Madagascar. This forest corridor is located in a chain of mountains and steep valleys approximately 120 kilometers SE of the capitol of Antananarivo. This corridor represents some of the last unexplored rain forest in eastern Madagascar.

My team was composed of Malagasy biologists and local people. Our first observations were of the forest destruction as the result of slash and burn agriculture, known locally as tavy. The destruction in the corridor mirrored that seen for much of the island: approximately 85-90% of the forest had been burned and cleared for agriculture. The tavy was on steep mountainous slopes, many of which exceeded 45 degrees.

Amazingly, despite the incredible rates of deforestation, we were able to find patches of undisturbed forest along the mountaintops and in some of the more remote valleys. At the northernmost sites, it became readily apparent that the lemur populations had been seriously affected by trapping and hunting. Snare traps were abundant around the site. 

We then moved further south into less disturbed forest habitats. Our efforts were rewarded with sightings of red bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubiventrer), a few black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata), sportive lemurs (Lepilemur mustelinus), mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus), greater dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus major), and common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus). We were very excited to see common brown lemurs because they were thought to be restricted to forests far north of the corridor. There was also ample evidence of feeding by bamboo lemurs 

(Hapalemur griseus griseus) in bamboo patches and by the rare and elusive aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) on dead tree stumps. Perhaps our most exciting finding was of two groups of what may be a hybrid form of common 

brown lemur and red-fronted brown lemur (E. f. rufus). Hybrids form when two subspecies meet and interbreed, producing a creature that differs in appearance from the parent forms. One can then imagine the fascinating effects that hybrids have on such things as mate selection and reproductive success. The specific status of these hybrid forms cannot be ascertained until detailed genetic and ecological studies are conducted. We were surprised and disappointed that Milne-Edward's sifakas (Propithecus diadema edwardsi) were neither seen nor heard during our surveys. Although local people reported that these large, black lemurs were abundant, they also admitted to systematically hunting the sifakas with blowguns. Local people described using the large white patch on the animal's back as a target for darts fired from blowguns. Therefore, it seems likely that the conservation status of Milne-Edward's sifakas is far more precarious than we had previously imagined.

Plans are currently underway to protect some part of the forest corridor as a reserve or, perhaps, a new national park. Management plans for the new protected area will include education on forest conservation and training in modern agricultural techniques. 

If you would like to donate to PCI to help one of the projects like this one, please contact me at the address below. We have moved our office to Charlestown, Rhode Island. You can also visit us on the world wide web at www.primate.org and find out about how you can get a copy of The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates for a donation to PCI.

Sincerely,

Noel Rowe 

Email reports from the field in May and June 2000! A survey for the silky sifaka in Madagascar by PCI supported researchers, Dr. Patricia Wright and Mireya West www.pbs.org./nova/madagascar

Read about the trials of a field conservation and research project in the July/August edition of International Wildlife Magazine. "They're logging your rain forest!" by Lisa Paciulli. She is a PCI grantee, who works in the Menatawi Islands located off Sumatra in Indonesia, studying the endangered Simbakou or pig-tailed langur. To get a cpy dial 703 790 4100


monk001.GIF (11016 bytes) Red shanked Douc Languar Photo by N. Rowe

Director's Report - 1998

This summer PCI will celebrate our fifth year of giving support to research and conservation projects on the least know and most endangered primates. To date we have awarded funding to 75 projects in 23 different countries. Over 86% of our budget goes directly to field projects in habitat countries. Projects in Asia have received 42% of our funding, African projects 27%, Madagascar 25%, and South America 6%. Our grants have gone to study monkeys (43%), apes (22%), lemurs (19%), lorises (6%),and tarsiers (5%). We couldn't have done this without generous contributions. Thank you for helping us assist primate researchers in their important work. They are some of the hardest working people I know. Without their dedication under difficult physical conditions some of these endangered primates will be lost. We must do all we can to prevent the extinction of primate taxa. Please continue to give generously.

Selected Reports from the Field:

West Africa

    Perhaps the saddest news we have to report is that both the Ivory Coast survey by Scott McGraw and the Ghana survey by Michael Abedi-Lartey for Miss Waldron's red colobus were unable to locate a single individual of this subspecies of red colobus which is known only from this region. Although it is not possible to say with certainty that this is the first primate taxon to disappear this century, the likelihood of finding this taxon seems to diminish with time. Even the local hunters interviewed had not encountered it recently. Though the forests where it thrived 10 years ago are degraded, they are still intact. Overhunting for the commercial bushmeat trade has taken a heavy toll on the mammalian inhabitants of these forests and throughout much of Western and Central Africa.

GROUP1.jpg (70632 bytes)
Kelley (right) with her field research team and camp staff.
Photo by J. Oates

     Kelley McFarland is studying gorillas in Nigeria. This isolated population is found in the most western and northern part of the range of lowland gorillas. Kelly is currently studying the diet of these wary gorilla by following their trails, and by analyzing fecal samples. She is also collecting hair samples from nests for genetic analysis. There is recent evidence from skull measurements that this gorilla population may have been isolated for a long time. DNA studies of its hair may help substantiate the hypothesis that this is a fourth subspecies of gorilla. These gorillas are threatened by local hunters who kill gorillas, smoke the meat, and sell it. Kelly, who's project partially funded by PCI in 1996, has managed to stop the poaching for the 2 years. She has asked PCI for a renewal grant to continue her research and conservation work into 1999. If you would like to help sponsor her project please call the director.

    Katie Gonder has been studying the chimpanzees that inhabit Gashaka-Gumpti National Park in the northeast Nigeria and in nearby Cameroon. Her preliminary results, which were published in Nature last fall, indicate that this population of chimps appears to be genetically quite different from the three known subspecies of chimpanzee and maybe recognized as a fourth subspecies when the analysis is completed.

Madagascar

    Jonah Ratsimbazafy is a researcher from Madagascar who is working toward a Ph D at SUNY Stony Brook. With partial funding from PCI he returned to Manombo Special Reserve in the southeastern part of his country to assess the effects of a cyclone which knocked down 60% of the trees in this reserve. The lemurs that inhabit this forest, Including Eulemur fulvus albocollaris which is found only in this and one other reserve, are having a difficult time finding enough food. They have been seen crossing large grassy areas to get to small patches of forest. This is very uncommon behavior for arboreal lemurs. Detailed results of his study will soon be published in the journal Conservation Biology. It is sobering to realize how vulnerable endangered species are to natural disasters when they are confined to the little islands of habitat that we humans have left for them.

CLASS.jpg (61376 bytes)
Jonah giving a talk to the Springs School in East Hampton, New York.
The class has adopted a school near Manombo Special Reserve and
sent pens, pencils, and other educational materials for their school.     

Asia

DEFREST1.jpg (72757 bytes)
Lisa sitting on trees that were part of her study site until illegal logging
took place in early 1997.

     Lisa Pachulli was awarded a grant in 1994 to study the simakobu which is the local name of the pig tailed langur which is found only on the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. She established the Betamouga Field Station on the remote southwestern part of North Pagai Island which was accessible only by boat, canoe and a 45 minute walk. She has managed to habituated and study these monkeys. She is collecting data on their ecology and social system. This is one of the few primates that has been reported to commonly live in both monogamous groups and multimale multifemale groups. In April of 1997 while in the US consulting with her thesis committee, she got word that illegal logging was taking place near her study site. She immediately returned to Indonesia to find the loggers had built a road to her study site and had logged half of it. Unwilling to give up on the forest and the monkeys she is studying, she persuaded the loggers to stop cutting and negotiated with the owners, the forestry department and the central government. She was successful in establishing a 1700 acre protected research area with demarcated boundaries. She is continuing her research and doing conservation work with the local villages so that they can make a living without cutting down the forest. One idea being pursued is the cultivation of a plant from which patchouli oil perfume is made.

Donations

    PCI is funded by tax deductible donations. In March PCI received a large cash donation from Pogonias Press which is the publisher of The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates. Abigail Barber, the treasurer of Pogonias Press reports that sales of the book have been steady and this book turned a profit in late 1997 and the company was able to make donations to 4 different organizations which help protect endangered primates in their natural habitats. If you aren't familiar with this beautiful book, it is the only book to treat each of the 234 species of primates separately with over 500 color photographs. It can be ordered directly from the publisher by calling 1 800 296 6310. If you mention PCI and you will get a 20% discount.

Books for Conservation

    Tom Plant, one of PCI's supporters, initiated a book distribution project in 1997 and 1998. Primate field researchers and conservationists were contacted and asked to nominate people in habitat countries who would find The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates useful for their work but who were unable to afford it. Copies of the book were then sent to the people nominated. To date over 70 books have been given to people working to protect primates in 10 countries. If you would like to help this or any other project please call the director.

Tax Advantages for Donors

    Until June 30, 1998 Congress allows a charitable deduction for the full value of a gift of appreciated stock to private 501 (c) (3) foundations like PCI. Although it is hoped that this provision will be renewed for another year, this is by no means certain. If you would like to make a contribution of stock, please call the director before the end of June. We need your support so we can continue to fund the many projects which are helping to protect and study the least know and most endangered prosimians, monkeys and apes. Sincerely, Noel Rowe Director


 

Director's Report - 1997

    This is the fourth year that PCI has been giving grants. With your support we are achieving our goal of funding field research and conservation projects on the least known and most endangered primates. We are very proud of the 57 projects in 17 countries that have been funded to date. I regret that I have neglected to report to you about our progress. I have been preoccupied with writing The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates that was published in 1996 by Pogonias Press. It is the first book to include photographs of the 234 species of primates. The text is a short synopsis of what is known about the behavior, diet, habitat, life history, physical characteristics, social structure, and taxonomy of each species including Homo sapiens. The publisher will donate 30% of the net profits from the sale of this book to PCI. My greatest hope is that The Pictorial Guide will be used by students, primatologists and policy makers to study and protect endangered primates and their habitats. If you would like a copy of this book it can be ordered directly from the publisher (1800 296-6310). If you are a supporter of PCI you will receive a 10% discount.

The Importance Of Surveys

    Sadly the threats to primates on this planet have not diminished and in many countries they are becoming critical. Although surveys are often of short duration, they are one of the important first steps for long term conservation. Knowing where endangered primates still exist and with an estimate of their density, researchers can draw attention to the plight of the species and their habitat. This has been the case for a species endemic to Vietnam, the Tonkin snub-nosed langur. It was reported to be "locally common" in the mid 1960's, but some experts feared that it had not survived the civil strife.

    A successful survey by Dr. Le Xuan Canh, Marc Myers and Noel Rowe, Director of PCI, took place in December 1992 through January 1993. With the help of the Vietnamese Institute for Ecology and Biological Resources, PCI designed and sponsored a color conservation poster to inform the local people about the plight of the Tonkin snub-nosed langur. With PCI's encouragement the Wildlife Conservation Society sponsored Dr. Ramesh Boonratana and Dr. Canh to undertake a long term study of the species.

    PCI awarded a grant to Dr. Canh in 1994-5 to continue his conservation work with Vietnam's snub-nosed langur. In 1995, the last two forests in which the Tonkin snub-nosed langur is found were declared the Na Hang Nature Reserve. An ecotourism company has begun taking hardy travelers on visits of the Na Hang Nature Reserve. This has provided support financial support for the local communities that have voluntarily preserved their forest. The reserve has been included in a proposal for a large United Nations Global Environmental Facility grant to protect the forest and this endemic species. Unfortunately the wheels of this bureaucracy turn slowly and the grant money has yet to reach this area in dire need of protection.

    As Dr. Canh reported to the 1996 International Primatological Society in Madison, Wisconsin, what is currently needed is equipment for the staff to better patrol the reserve. They especially need a small motorboat ($1500) and a motor bike ($2000). If you would like to help raise funds for these important items please contact me.

Is Miss Waldroni's Red Colobus Extinct?

    In 1996 PCI funded two interrelated surveys for Miss Waldroni's red colobus, which historically was found in Ivory Coast and Ghana. This subspecies of the western red colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni) may have the dubious distinction of being the first primate taxa to be lost to extinction in our life time. Though "only a subspecies" we must remember that every taxa is very important to the health of its forest home and ultimately, of the planet. Each of the subspecies of red colobus lives in a separate region of Africa.

    Tom Struhsaker, a primatologist who has studied many of the red colobus subspecies, believes that each lives in a forest refugia that has survived the many wet and dry climatic periods that have effected the ecology of Africa over the last few million years. If one of the integral species of this region is lost forever, we will never know its particular role in maintaining the forest to which it has adapted. The forest and the local human population will be that much poorer without the red colobus.

    Dr. Scott McGraw from the Department of Anatomy at the New York Institute of Technology will be conducting a survey of the forests on the eastern edge of Ivory Coast adjoining Ghana. Dr. McGraw did his Ph.D. thesis on the primates of the Tai forest in Ivory Coast.

    Michael Abedi-Lartey from the Ghana Wildlife Department will be conducting the other survey in the forests of western Ghana. It is hoped that one or more populations of Miss Waldroni's colobus still exist in the forest reserves on the boundary of these two countries. Dr. George Whitesides who received a grant from PCI in 1995 to do a survey for 3 endangered taxa in Ghana, reported that although the forests were being protected from logging, there were very few animals sighted. No red colobus were seen by him. Poaching seems to be the main problem.

Bushmeat Trade Threatens Apes In West Africa

    The bushmeat trade, the commercial hunting of wild animals for food to be sold in the markets of towns and cities, is having a devastating effect on many primate populations. Some of the worst examples of the bushmeat trade has been documented by Karl Amman in Cameroon, where commercial hunters are targeting chimpanzees and gorillas. The meat of our closest living primate kin is being sold in the cities for more money per pound then beef or chicken. This dangerous trade is facilitated by the logging companies that build new roads ever deeper into the forest. The roads and logging trucks make it possible for the hunters to get the meat to market quickly. As Americans we know from our history, the buffalo was hunted to near extinction. The railroad made it possible for the hunters to ship the meat and hides quickly to the cities. Only the enforcement of laws passed and the hard work of many people, saved the buffalo for us to know and appreciate today. We must do all we can to protect our fellow apes from extinction.

Sincerely,

Noel B Rowe
Director
nrowe@primate.org


Primate Conservation, Inc
1411 Shannock Rd
Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813-3726

Telephone:(401) 364 7140
FAX: (401) 364 6785

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