Reaching for the trees

It is 2018, the 4th of January. Myself and assistant DB are leopard-crawling through mud while clinging vines and thorn branches obstruct our mission: that being to locate the identity behind the primate “pyow” vocalizations at the site of the vervet monkey sleeping tree at 6.30 am.  “If only we could move through the trees the way they do”, DB says looking up into densely packed branches that stretch over forty metres high.

Declining primate populations – where samangos and humans meet

Sixty percent of primate species are heading towards extinction According to the most recent scientific assessment, human influence has caused 60% of wild primate species to head towards extinction with three quarters declining steadily.

Friends in high places: The vervet (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)/samango (Cercopithecus albogularis labiatus) relationship

While following up on the fascinating relationship between two species at one of our study sites - a matrix habitat where humans and nonhuman primates co-exist - we came across the vervets and samangos eating small yellowish, hairless, figs plucked off the branches of an evergreen Forest fig.

Life as a bachelor male (Cercopithecus albogularis labiatus)

Two days ago while driving along the main road in Dargle Valley, an adult male samango monkey ran across the road in front of my vehicle then disappeared into a Bluegum plantation. It is believed that samango troops do not wander far away from the forest patches they live in, but this is not the case for the bachelor males who leave their natal troops around the age of six years.

Please report sightings of samangos

Reporting sightings of samango monkeys in the study areas will be extremely helpful to the project. We would be most grateful to anyone living or working in the Balgowan, Dargle, Karkloof/Mbona or Fort Nottingham areas, or even visiting the region, who is willing to contribute to the project by reporting on any samango sightings. How to … Continue reading Please report sightings of samangos


Non-invasive methods will be used to collect data about troop size, sex/age rations, behaviour, and food sources by means of focal or scan ethograms, using wildlife trap cameras, digital photographs and collecting fecal samples . The relatively recent development of non-invasive genetic analysis has allowed primatologists to better understand the population and group dynamics of wild … Continue reading Methodology

Objectives of the research project

Here is a summary of the objectives of the project, followed by more detailed lists of primary and secondary objectives. Summary of the aims of the research project Determine the population size, location, genetics, and diet of samango monkeys in the Midlands, KZN. Determine the manner in which human intervention has impacted on these areas. Observe Samango monkey … Continue reading Objectives of the research project