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L’Hoest Monkey

The L’hoest monkey (Cercopithecus lhoesti) commonly found in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC Congo is a very dark, richly colored animal with a pure white chin ruff framing on the face and white patches under their eyes, it also known as the Mountain Monkey. The L’hoest Monkey can be found in a range of different kinds of forested areas, including gallery forest, mature lowland rain forest, wooded savannah at mountain slopes, and forest borders. The males are larger than the females and have bright mauve testes.

The L’hoest moneys live in groups of about 17 individuals dominated by females with one or two adult males. They eat leaves; seeds, flowers, fruits and insects, occasionally will eat bird eggs, lizards and even small birds. They move mainly on the forest floor, but flee up into the trees if threatened.

There is a decrease in the L’hoest monkeys in the wild because of deforestation of their habitat for farming, hunting for bush meat mainly by the use of snares by hunters. The fact that they are also found in areas of warfare and intense human conflict, this too becomes a threat to them. This means that the L’hoest monkey is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Most of the East African populations occur in the montane areas of western Uganda, but the species is also found in Kibale, Kalinzu and Kayonza which are medium altitude forests. In these areas the species prefers the thick regenerating growth in felled compartments. The bamboo forest zone seems to define the upper altitudinal limits of the range. L’Hoest is also found in Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda and Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo.