International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 127–145 | Cite as

Monkey Abundance and Social Structure in Two High-Elevation Forest Reserves in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania

  • Andrew R. MarshallEmail author
  • J. Elmer Topp-Jørgensen
  • Henry Brink
  • Eibleis Fanning


The effects of human activity on population and social structure are a pantropical concern for primate conservation. We compare census data and social group counts from two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. The main aim is to relate differences within and between the forests to current theory on the effect of human disturbance on primate abundance and group size. The survey reveals the presence of the restricted-range red colobus, Procolobus gordonorum, in New Dabaga/Ulangambi Forest Reserve (NDUFR). The primate community of NDUFR is impoverished compared to that in Ndundulu forest. Red colobus and black-and-white colobus (Colobus angolensis palliatus) abundance and group size are lowest in NDUFR. Fission-fusion of red colobus social groups may be occurring in previously logged areas of both forests. Our observations are consistent with current theory on the effect of habitat degradation and hunting on primates, but the relative effects of the 2 factors could not be differentiated. We pooled the results with previous data to show that abundance of red colobus in the Udzungwa Mountains is lowest at high elevations. Low red colobus group sizes appear to be related to human activity rather than elevation. Black-and-white colobus and Sykes monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) show no relationship with elevation. Future studies will require more detailed information on vegetation, diet and ranging patterns to interpret fully intraspecific variation in population demography and social structure in the Udzungwa Mountains.

Key words

altitude transect logging bushmeat Eastern Arc 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew R. Marshall
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. Elmer Topp-Jørgensen
    • 2
  • Henry Brink
    • 2
  • Eibleis Fanning
    • 2
  1. 1.Environment Department, Centre for Ecology Law and PolicyUniversity of YorkHeslington, YorkUK
  2. 2.Society for Environmental ExplorationLondonUK

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