Primates in Kahuzi Biega

Primates in Kahuzi Biega National Park- Congo chimpanzee Tracking

There are 13 species of primates in the Kahuzi biega national park , note that ltebero is situated in the low part of the national park and Kahuzi in the mountainous section.   Among the primates in the park include the Dwarf galago, Bosman’s potto, Red Tailed guenon, owl faced guenon, blue guenon, mona guenon, l hoest’s guenon, grey cheeked mangabey, Angolan black and white colobus, northern black colobus , western red colobus, Anubis baboon, chimpanzee and the Gorilla which are the eastern lowland that are officially open for gorilla trekking adventure once booked with trusted tour operator.

These two species of the loris family belong to the prosimians and the nocturnal and to date this species has only been observed in the surrounding of the Kahuzi biega national Park but its is expected to occur there too . it is very sensitive to habitat disturbance . it has therefore become a rare in east democratic republic of congo and the neighboring countries. It is one of the species that are especially threatened.

Some Authors maintain that there are two distinct species colobus angolensis and colobus abyssinicus rather than two sub species.

The protection of the primates in the mountainous part of the Kahuzi biega is relatively assured . in the contrast , the population of the low part and the neighboring zones are severely  threatened by poaching inspite of the creation of the park . Monkeys meat is a favourite in the meats markets .

Tropical forests monkeys generally form groups that consist of several species, in the bamboo forest of the Kahuzi biega , these multi specific troops are made up of Crecopithecus mitis and c. ascanius .

Multi specific troop have many advantages , the smaller species search for food is facilitated as they can exploit remnants left by bigger species especially in the case of fruits that are only the big species can open . bigger species take advantage of the smallest species better knowledge of the habitat . finally , a mixed troop can detect predators eagles , chimpanzee , leopards and golden cats more easily.

Watching monkeys

As we  have seen , only the habituated gorillas groups can be observed easily , the visitor makes these observation accompanied by a guide and trackers. Encounters with other primates happen almost always by chance ,the generally shy nature makes their observation even more difficult . During the day the monkeys remain quietly in their trees and may go un noticed by the visitors moving through the forest below. He will discover them only when they flee, because it is then that they make a lot of noise disturbing leaves and branches . Keeping silent is absolutely necessary in these circumstances , however with a lot of patience one can almost always spot them because monkeys are curious by nature.

Colobus monkeys

Colobus monkeys are bigger than guenons weighing up to 10 kg, colobus monkeys occur in small groups where as colobus badius form bigger groups with one or even several adults males . frequently these troops split up into temporary small groups consisting of families . it is the colobus badius , an extremely rare behavior in primates.

Colobus monkeys do not travel extensively , they defend a territory  of 10 to 100 ha depending on the size of the group and on the density of the forest , in this territory they always follow the same travel routes and spend the night in the same sleeping tree.

The diet of the colobus monkeys is very specialized , it consists of young green leaves with occasional fruits , bark or insects . The High percentage of cellulose in the diet has led to the evolution to ensure a slow digestion, to allow their food time to digest , the colobus monkey are inactive through most of the day.

Colobus monkeys have elongated arms terminating in long hands with tapering fingers and without a thumb , these are adaptation to an arboreal lifestyle . They move only very rarely on the ground but move with agility through the treetops , where they also rest.

Baboons

Baboons form group of between 30  and 80 individuals with several adult males, agroup of 30 individuals generally contains about 3 Males and the 7 or 8 females of reproduction age, the rest being juveniles and very young animals.  There are rarely more than 8 individuals per group in the mountain rain forests of the Kahuzi biega national park . they appear quite frequently by the side of the road. Do the baboons live exclusively in the mountain rain forest or do they more between the low and the mountainous parts of the Kahuzi biega national park  and the question remains un answered?

Baboons are remarkably adaptable , they occur both in the open Savannah and in the forest of the mountains. This wide distribution is related closely to this species adaptability to various diets and they are in fact completely omnivorous . Their Diet consists in equal parts of herbaceous young vegetation and roots , onions , rhizomes, flowers , fruits ,pollen, leaves from trees , resin , insects or eggs. They also eat meat of animals they have hunted , among these are rabbits and small guenon and even infants of small antelopes species . Herbaceous grounds vegetation , roots and tubers are sufficient for their survival , this allows them to make best use of the resources that the open savannah has to offer , in the forest , fruits constitute the main component   of the diet . their homes range covers 400 to 500ha.

The females are only half the size of the males and are therefore protected by their own groups males against aggression from other males.  The female mate with several males , however they seem to form exclusively relationships during the time of ovulation only with those males that occupy a high rank in the dominance hierarchy. This hierarchy is developed on the basis of criteria such as age, structure and aggressiveness and only the male changes groups , consequently males of one group are not related to each other  and this is the opposite of what has been observed in the chimpanzee.

Guenons and Mangabeys

For dietary reasons , guenons and mangabeys are more restricted to the forest than the baboons . they form much smaller groups than baboons , cercocebus albigena for example has about 15 smaller. A single adult male leads the group in mona and on the other hand

Apart from Primates viewing , check out the birding species in kahuzi Biega national park.

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