Gabon Talapoin

Gabon Talapoin

Northern talapoin, Guinea titi

Miopithecus ogouensis
Population size
Life Span
28 years
kg lbs 
cm inch 

The Gabon talapoin (Miopithecus ogouensis ), also known as the northern talapoin, is a small species of African monkey native to riparian habitats in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the western Republic of the Congo and the far western Democratic Republic of Congo. It may have been introduced to Bioko and the Canary Islands. Classified in the genus Miopithecus , it was given the name Miopithecus ogouensis, based on the River Ogooué, distinguishing it from the other species, the Angolan talapoin, also known as Miopithecus talapoin.

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Gabon talapoins are large headed monkeys with yellow-olive tinted coating, and can be differentiated from the Angolan talapoin by its flesh-coloured ears (not blackish). They are always found near watercourses, and are capable of diving and swimming away when disturbed. Males and females live together in mixed groups, but rarely interact with each other outside of mating season. Females tend to give birth annually during the rainy season, with mating season taking place during the dry season. Its diet constitute of mostly foraged fruits, seeds, leaves and insects, and crops raided from cultivated plantations. The Gabon talapoins are dependent on thick coverings to protect them from predation due to their small size, but their elusiveness have also made it difficult to observe their behaviors in the wild.

The Gabon talapoin is considered as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Assessed in 2017, its overall population trend is decreasing, with a continuing decline of mature individuals. Conservation efforts have been made to preserve its habitat and control trade on an international level.

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Not a migrant


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The Gabon talapoin, otherwise called the Northern talapoin, is one of two talapoin species (another one is the Angolan Talapoin), belonging to genus Miopithecus of the Cercopithecidae family. This primate is an Old World, native African animal. As a matter of fact, the Gabon talapoin hasn't been identified as separate species and there has been only one recognized talapoin species - the Angolan Talapoin. Nevertheless, the talapoin population in Cameroon (more precisely - south of the River Sanaga), Rio Muni and Gabon can be considered as an independent species called the Gabon Talapoin.



The Gabon talapoins occur in Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Their range is restricted to the Sanaga River (Cameroon) in north and Cabinda (Angola) in south. This small primate is highly vulnerable to predation. Hence, it typically looks for dense evergreen cover protect itself and is commonly found in dense undergrowth of riverbanks. Preferred types of habitat are lowland equatorial rainforests, swamps and riverine forests, where this monkey lives near water streams, particularly - freshwater rivers.

Gabon Talapoin habitat map

Climate zones

Gabon Talapoin habitat map
Gabon Talapoin
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Habits and Lifestyle

The Gabon talapoin monkeys are highly social creatures, occasionally forming units of up to 100 individuals. However, they normally live in family groups of 12 individuals on average, consisting of multiple adult males and females with their young. They are diurnal animals. The Gabon talapoin monkeys spend their daytime hours foraging for food in small sub-groups, which then reunite to sleep at night in trees, growing near water. These primates are non-territorial, as opposed to their close relatives, Guenos. Additionally, the Gabon talapoin monkeys are among the quietest monkeys. When threatened, these animals will give out sharp whistles to alert community members.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

As omnivorous animals, Gabon talapoin monkeys consume food of both plant and animal origin, including various fruits, seeds, aquatic plants, insects, shellfish as well as bird eggs and small vertebrates.

Mating Habits

during the dry season
5-6 months
1 infant
3 months

The reproductive behavior of this species is insufficiently explored. However, these primates are known to breed during the dry season. Gestation period lasts 5 - 6 months, yielding one infant, which is large and well-developed at birth. The baby grows up quickly. At 6 weeks old, it begins taking solid food. And finally, at around 3 months old, the young talapoin is independent.


Population threats

Although classified as Least Concern, the Gabon talapoin monkeys suffer from small-scale hunting for food. However, due to their small body size, these animals are simply unprofitable for hunters.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Gabon talapoin is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) and its numbers remain stable.

Ecological niche

Due to their plant-based diet, the Gabon talapoin monkeys act as seed dispersers of their range. They also control population numbers of insects they feed upon. And finally, these primates are key prey species for numerous medium to large predators.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Plays are an important part of their daily life. Although this is typically initiated by juveniles, adult individuals may also participate in it. One of the most common plays is wrestling, during which they grab, grapple and play-face. Additionally, they can often be observed running, during which one animal chases another.
  • Meanwhile, males of this species display more playful behavior than females.
  • Talapoin monkeys use very few vocalizations. One of the common calls is a 'pant chirp', through which an animal invites others to join it for an attack.
  • Like most primates, these animals have a rather complex communication system, which includes vocalizations and visual signals. Conspecifics also associate by means of tactile signals, which enhance relationships between community members acting like grooming. Additionally, some individuals communicate through chemical signals, which are often associated with reproduction.
  • These primates have a number of similarities with humans. Like humans, they are able to feel love, fear, compassion, anger and hate. They are known to be very attentive to each other, nursing and taking care of sick individuals. Other common activities include petting and grooming each other. Additionally, they have an amazing human-like habit of holding hands in order to display affection.
  • As opposed to most primates, the Gabon talapoin monkeys are excellent swimmers, particularly those in swampy areas. Morover, when foraging, these primates can even dive if necessary.


1. Gabon Talapoin Wikipedia article -
2. Gabon Talapoin on The IUCN Red List site -

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