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White-thighed Colobus (Colobus vellerosus)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 202516022

Local Community Actions to Safeguard Critically Endangered White-thighed Colobus Monkey at the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 202516022) - White-thighed Colobus - Awarded $10,500 on May 11, 2020

Over the years, Boabeng and Fiema communities have used traditional and cultural norms, myths and taboos to co-exist with the Critically endangered and endemic White-thighed Colobus and Mona monkeys (revered as “children of the gods”) such that, dead monkeys are buried with elaborate rituals akin to those of humans (1995; Abayie-Boaten, 1998; Attuquayefio & Fobil, 2005).

There has been over 80% reduction in Colobus vellerosus (Critically Endangered, IUCN, 2019) populations in the past three generations as a result of intensive hunting and decline in habitat quality across its geographic range. It is believed to have been extirpated in two out of the four endemic countries where the species persist. Currently, the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary is the only known habitat in Ghana believed to support the largest stable populations of C. vellerosus with over 365 individuals (Wong and Sicotte 2006). The forest is home to many indigenous trees, birds, reptiles, deer and the Campbell's mona monkey. Current Colobus populations in the Sanctuary is unknown.

This project combines traditional knowledge, local community collaborations and scientific knowledge to holistically and sustainably manage the Boabeng Fiema catchment to improve forest habitat health and quality, strengthen local community participation and inclusion while building structures for continuous population monitoring and robust ecotourism development.

 Specifically, the project will Assess and document the extent of habitat use by C. Vellorsus within the catchment, Build local capacity and establish community nursery to plant and restoring degraded forest areas while promoting agroforestry and climate smart agriculture.

Project document