The kipunji, also known as the highland mangabey, is a species of Old World monkey that lives in the highland forests of Tanzania. The kipunji has a unique call, described as a 'honk-bark', which distinguishes it from its relatives, the grey-cheeked mangabey and the black crested mangabey, whose calls are described as 'whoop-gobbles'.
The kipunji was independently discovered by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University ...
of Georgia, and Conservation International, in December 2003 and July 2004, making it the first new African monkey species discovered since the sun-tailed monkey in 1984. Originally assigned to the genus Lophocebus, genetic and morphological data showed that it is more closely related to the baboons than to the other mangabeys in the genus Lophocebus. Scientists subsequently assigned it to a new genus, Rungwecebus, named after Mount Rungwe, where it is found. The kipunji is the first new monkey genus to be discovered since Allen's swamp monkey in 1923.
Zoologists were initially skeptical of the existence of the kipunji until its discovery, as traditional tales of the Nyakyusa people described the monkey as both real and mythical.