What is it about nonhuman primates that they are capable of transforming our perception? “I was only truly happy when I was with the baboons. They were my emotional center and an important part of me remained with them even if I was physically distant”; wrote anthropologist Shirley Strum who had been studying olive baboons … Continue reading Baboons (Papio ursinas) – From the Magaliesberg to the Midlands
The Samango Safari includes a hike through indigenous mistbelt forest and grasslands, beginning at Lemonwood Cottages on the edge of the forest in the Dargle Valley conservancy in the midlands of Kwazulu Natal.
Trail Camera Footage - A playlist of eleven videos from The Samango Monkey Research Project, Midlands, Kwazulu Natal.
The blonde samangos of Cape Vidal were first brought to my attention when reading Thomas M Butynski and Yvonne A de Jong’s 2009 paper: Three Sykes's Monkey Cercopithecus mitis × Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus Hybrids in Kenya. While some scientists have suggested that these blonde samangos are samango monkey X vervet monkey hybrids, Butynski and de Jong suggest that they are more likely to be erythristic or partially albino. Given our research to date on the alliances formed by vervet monkeys and samango monkeys in the midlands, and noting this phenomenon elsewhere, the feasibility of hybridisation between these two intergeneric species that are remarkably different as far as the amount of chromosomes they have, their behaviour and the different ecological niches they inhabit is never far from my mind. It is important to note that in the unlikely event that hybridisation may occur between these species that are genetically distant, a hybrid would probably be infertile. However, such a phenomenon would offer valuable information about populations.
The vervet monkey has a multi-male social system in comparison to the samango monkey’s one male social system hence one reason for the two troops foraging together may be that the multi-male vervet troop brings added protection to the samango troop which consists of adult females, one male and their youngsters.
Dispersing Samango Males - Karkloof and Dargle 23rd July, 2018 Silence saturated the air after Lizzie and I left Mbona Private Nature Reserve’s (http://mbona.co.za/) tranquil, indigenous forest where we’d spent a few hours deep in the forest watching samango monkeys. Turning off Karkloof Road, onto a hazy road, in the direction of Karkloof Canopy … Continue reading Samango Monkey Research Project – Update, August 2018
Breeding season: it's that time of year again. Samango Monkeys have a harem social structure, that is a single dominant male (there may be two adult males in the group) lives with adult females and their offspring. The social core is formed by related females, who will also defend their territory. The samango displays sexual … Continue reading Breeding Season – It’s That Time of the Year