|Date||14 Aug 2000|
The Tana River red colobus monkey is endemic to the Tana River area of Kenya and is highly endangered. It is known that they only inhabit half of the forest patches in the Tana River floodplain - but it is not known whether the unoccupied forest patches are suitable for colobus, nor whether patches occupied outside the Tana River Primate National Reserve are of adequate quality for the longer term survival.
There is an urgent need to establish which forest fragments are able to sustain the remaining population and whether human activity impedes dispersal of the primates to neighbouring forest patches, which may affect genetic variability within the species.
The project will involve detailed survey work and genetic testing both inside and outside the Reserve, east and west of the river. It is hoped that the team's results will lead to improved management and protection of the Red Colobus, and also of other primates present in the Tana River Primate National Reserve, because it is thought that the colubus exhibits greater sensitivity to habitat characteristics than other species, and can therefore act as an indicator specie.
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