Promoting the Conservation of Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) through Conservation Education and Public Awareness in Vundwe Island in Zanzibar

Filemon Elisante Mbwambo

The Zanzibar red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) is the species of colobus monkey endemic to Zanzibar Island. Its habitats include coral-thicket forest ecosystems of which majority are small fragments, located outside of the government protected areas, agricultural areas as well as mangrove swamps.

Red colobus monkey. © Aidan Moran

Red colobus monkey. © Aidan Moran

The P. kirkii serves as a flagship species in the island, promoting the conservation of the forests and other species of flora and fauna. Despite its importance in promoting conservation and tourism in Zanzibar, the P. kirkii is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN, and the population is still decreasing. The major threat to its conservation is habitat loss caused by deforestation (due to shifting cultivation, extraction of building poles, firewood, and charcoal making). In addition to that, the P. kirkii is also hunted for pet market and in some cases poisoned due retribution for crop damages as well as belief that it brings bad luck to farmers and fishermen.

The project will therefore work to assess the current population of P. kirkii and the major threats to its survival, as well as promoting the conservation of P. kirkii through conservation education and public awareness in the communities around Vundwe island, Zanzibar.

Header: A Red Colobus Monkey. © Scott Lamont.

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