The Roloway Monkey, known by it’s Santa Clause like beard, hangs out in the rainforest canopies and snacks on plants and fruits.
They live in groups of about 15 to 30 individuals like other primates and live for about 35 years. As part of the rainforest ecosystem, they are hunted by a multitude of predators including crowned hawk-eagles, leopards, chimpanzees and, most notoriously, humans.
Actually, this unique species is one of the three most endangered monkeys in Ghana (west coast of Africa). Deforestation and the palm oil industry have driven a loss of habitat, leading to their decline.
They are also considered endangered due to “bushmeat” hunting. The markets in Ghana sell over 800 tons of bushmeat each year. To put this into perspective, that equals to the weight of 160,000 monkeys!
An interesting fact – male Roloway monkeys tend to leave their family group permanently at some point in their lives. The female Roloways tend to stay with the group they were born into. Very similar to elephants, wouldn’t you say?
NGO groups like the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) aim at the rescue and conservation of two highly endangered primate species, the Roloway Monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway) and the White-naped Mangabey (Cercocebus atys lunulatus), which are endemic to rainforest areas in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Watch the video about WAPC