Limpopo Wildlife Training Facebook  Africa Expection Linkedin  

Monkey

Unlike many tropical African countries, there are only two monkey species in South Africa, namely the Vervet and the Samango monkey. Both are fruit eating tree dwellers, as a consequence of which they can inflict serious damage to commercial fruit orchards.

Vervet Monkeys have a silver-grey body and a marked black face with a white fringe of hair. The ridge of the eyebrows is white, and so are the feet and tail tip.

Vervets are highly social animals, and occur in well organised troops from 10 to 70 individuals, dominated by males. Females remain in their groups throughout life, but when males reach sexual maturity, they move to a neighbouring group. Separate dominance hierarchies are found for each sex. Male hierarchies are determined by age, tenure in the group, fighting abilities, and allies, while female hierarchies are dependent on maternal social status. Access to prime food recourses is determined by the dominance hierarchy.

Often, males will move with a brother or peer, presumably for protection against aggression by males and females of the resident group. Groups that had previously transferred males show significantly less aggression upon the arrival of another male. In almost every case, males migrate to adjacent groups. This obviously increases benefits in regard to distance travelled, but also reduces the amount of genetic variance, increasing the likelihood of inbreeding

The diet tends to be omnivorous, feeding on fruit, flowers, leaves and insects, which constitutes the bulk of their diet. Primates are amongst the few mammals with colour vision, which allows Vervet Monkeys to distinguish between green and ripe fruit.

Habitat: A sufficient density of tall trees and the availability of permanent surface water, allow this primate to occur in a wide variety of macro environments. They are regarded primarily as a forest edge specialist.