Filed under: Developing Nations, Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: Democratic Republic of Congo, lesula, Newly Discovered Species
These are two young lesula (cercopithecus lomaniensis) a previously undiscovered species of monkey from the central Democratic Republic of Congo in one of the country’s last unexplored forest areas. The 6,500 square mile area where the shy lesula is found is remote and sparsely populated. The adult male has a unique and highly identifiable blue rear end. They say it is a new species, but of course it is only new to us.
Researchers say that the species is vulnerable as a result of hunting for bush meat. They called for controls on hunting and the creation of a protected area to conserve the lesula. Bush meat or wild game is dangerous in Africa as it may transmit Ebola or HIV to humans.
Species with small ranges like the lesula can move from vulnerable to seriously endangered in just a few years. The challenge for conservation is to intervene before losses become definitive. It’s complicated when the need for meat protein is high.
(photos by John Hart)