LATIN NAMELophocebus albigena
CONSERVATION STATUSLeast Concern
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About the Grey-cheeked Mangabey
The Grey-cheeked Mangabey is a tree-dwelling monkey with long limbs, a ruffled tail that is longer than its body and a distinctive mantle of long, lighter-coloured hair over its neck and shoulders. Its thick brown fur appears almost black in its forest home while males are slightly larger than their female counterparts.
An Old World Monkey, the Mangabey is found in the forests of central Africa, stretching from Cameroon to Gabon and usually lives and feeds high up in the canopy.
Mangabeys live in groups, called troops, of between ten and 40 individuals, usually led by one or several males. When younger males reach maturity, they leave their troop and join another, while females stay with their natal group throughout their life.
All Mangabeys are excellent jumpers, but the Grey-cheeked Mangabey’s tail is strong enough to help it hook on to branches are they leap through the forest.
The species eats a diet of fruit, seeds, nuts as well as buds, shoots, leaves and flowers. Invertebrates, such as ants, ant larvae and caterpillars, are also consumed, while adult males have occasionally been recorded preying on smaller mammals. Large incisors allow the monkey crack open hard nuts, while cheek pouches enable it to collect food that can be eaten later on.
This particular species of Mangabey is listed as Least Concern because it remains a relatively-widespread species, though the continuing loss of its habitat and hunting for bushmeat are significant threats.
Did You Know?
Adult male Mangabeys produce a distinctive ‘Whoop-Gobble’ sound to make their presence known, a call that can be heard up to a kilometre away. There are nine species of Mangabey in all and each troop has its own home range in an effort to avoid confrontations.
The Fota Connection.
The Grey-cheeked Mangabeys at Fota arrived to the Park in 2010 from France. A more aggressive monkey than some of its fellow primates, the Mangabey is very active throughout the day and is very popular with visitors.
The species is housed in the same exhibit as the Meerkats, though the pen is divided into separate sections. Of all the monkeys at Fota, the group seems to particularly like ice blocks and they can spend much of their day picking fruit and vegetables from the melting ice after a block is hung up within their exhibit.
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