December Primate of the Month — the Mandrill
December Primate of the Month – the Mandrill
Mandrill Quick Facts
- Scientific Name: Mandrillus sphinx
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
- Population: Unknown
- Range: Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon
- Habitat: Tropical Rainforest
- Diet: Omnivorous- fruits, roots, reptiles and insects
- GLOBIO Partner Sanctuary: Ape Action Africa (Cameroon)
This stunning primate from equatorial Africa is easily recognizable from it’s striking coloration. With the heaviest males weighing up to 54 kilos, the Mandrill is the largest monkey in the animal kingdom. These gorgeous primates live in multi-family troops with up to several hundred individuals!
Their colors are for more than just show- they play a key role in the hierarchy of mandrill communities. As the coloration is controlled by testosterone, the brightness is an indicator of their rank and the general virility of an adult male mandrill.
As is the case with many primates, Mandrill numbers are being threatened by logging and oil/gas drilling, as well as the bushmeat trade. Due to their size, larger Mandrill troops require significant amounts of intact forest for food, making them particularly vulnerable in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon where these large plots of forest are fading fast.
Because of the threats they face, it is suspected that Mandrill populations have decreased considerably over the past decade. However, a formal survey is required to assess their numbers today and ensure their survival tomorrow.