Black-and-white colobus (Colobus guereza)

The Black-and-white colobus monkey is arboreal, but will travel across the ground between patches of forest. This beautifully marked and distinctive primate has a black body, white facial markings, long white tail and, in some races, a white side-stripe.

It lives in small groups and is almost exclusively arboreal. An adult is capable of jumping up to 30m, a spectacular sight with its white tail streaming behind.

This is probably the most common and widespread forest monkey in Uganda, occurring in most sizable forest patches and even in well-developed riparian woodland. The Rwenzori race of the closely related Angola colobus (Colobus angolensis) occurs alongside the black-and-white colobus in forested parts of the Rwenzori National Park.

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey Uganda

Habitat & Ecology

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey has a tail which is longer than the head and body combined, with the anterior half being gray and the tuft taking up about half of its length. Its mantle is long and extends onto the back, becoming longer further back on the body.

Average weights for males fall between 9.3 and 13.5 kg (20.5-29.8 lbs) while for females, the range of averages is between 7.8 and 9.2 kg (17.2-20.3 lbs).

Head and body length in males averages 61.5 cm (24.2 in) ranging from 54.3 to 69.9 cm (21.4-27.5 in). In females, it averages 57.6 cm (22.7 in) and ranges between 52.1 and 67.3 cm (20.5-26.5 in).

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey Uganda

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey, like other Colobines, possesses a large and multi-chambered stomach which allows them to better digest plant fibers, including foliage. This ability to digest plant material is also assisted by bacteria in certain areas of the stomach. Together, these and other morphological adaptations allow the species to feed on large quantities of leaves.

Guerezas Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys primarily use quadrupedal locomotion and leaping to move through their environment, followed in frequency by climbing and other locomotor patterns. The species’ quadrupedal movement usually consists of bounds and gallops up and across large supports and when not moving, they will usually sit or recline. Leaps are usually short and contribute to a generally horizontal or downward pattern of movement. The species rarely is seen suspending and usually feeds above a support.

In captivity, guerezas have lived past thirty years.

Ref: Wisconsin Primate Research Center (WPRC) Library

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