Posted on 10 May 2021
This video is a vivid reminder that we need to act now to preserve our planet’s vital habitats and threatened species like Bouvier’s red colobus as well as the extraordinary wildlife diversity that people all over the world depend on for their survival.
10 May 2021: Republic of the Congo; A conservation team from WWF on a recent mission to Ntokou Pikounda National Park in the Republic of the Congo has captured the first-ever video footage of Bouvier’s red colobus. This rare monkey, once thought to be extinct after four decades without a confirmed sighting was rediscovered in 2015 and a still photo taken during an expedition by Lieven Devreese from Belgium and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo from the Republic of the Congo.
“On 13 April this year, on the final day of a three-day hike through the Ntokou Pikounda National Park to try and capture the rare species on camera, we heard the distinctive piercing calls of a group nearby. We then carefully waded through the murky Kandeko river towards the beckoning sounds into a small clearing in the dense forest and were rewarded with a glimpse of five adults and a baby before they quickly scampered away into the forest canopy above,” says WWF’s Jaap Van Der Waarde who filmed the video.
“This five-minute long clip captures only one of the five monkeys seen by the team, a curious male that usually stays at the rear acting as a sentry to warn the rest of the troop of impending danger,” he adds.
The people of Congo including the local communities who carry out fishing activities along the forest’s rivers have been aware of the existence of this species of colobus monkey which is endemic to the Ntokou Pikounda National Park. In 2008, the Bouvier’s Red Colobus was classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM as critically endangered, with a note saying it was "possibly extinct." However since its rediscovery in 2015 it has recently been reclassified as endangered. There have been no systematic surveys carried out to determine the population status of the species however based on sightings and available habitat, it is estimated that their number ranges between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals.
Over the last three years, WWF has supported the government's conservation efforts in Ntokou Pikounda National including working with local and indigenous communities to find practical ways for them to manage this key forest habitat they have depended on for centuries.
This video is a vivid reminder that we need to act now to preserve our planet’s vital habitats if we stand any chance of protecting threatened species like Bouvier’s red colobus and the extraordinary wildlife diversity that people all over the world depend on for their survival.
For more information, please contact:
Media contact WWF
WWF Wildlife Practice