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Golden Monkeys

The golden monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti) is an endemic primate of the Albertine Rift Valley. Golden monkeys live in groups between 20-80 individuals usually led by one adult male. They eat about 20 -30 plant species mainly leaves, fruits and invertebrates, but their main preference is bamboo. They weigh about 5 to 12 kg; the males have a reddish color on their back and on the dorsal part of their sides as well as some grizzled darker patches. Females are lighter in color and have less grizzled brown patches.

Little was known until recent decades about this primate, which was originally found in Gishwati forest but brought to extinction with the intensive deforestation. Today the only remaining troops of golden monkeys are found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and in Mgahinga National Park in Uganda bordering Rwanda. With cooperation between ORTPN and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DGFIFI), two groups of golden monkeys have been habituated for tourist activities and this project will support the conservation of the species.