Black-cheeked white-nosed monkey, Red-tailed guenon, Redtail monkey, Schmidt's guenon
Red-tailed monkeys are named for their red coloration of the tail's underside as well as the bi-coloration of the tail as the reddish color increases from the base to the tip. These monkeys have the white nose and cheeks in the midst of black or dark grey body fur. Red-tailed monkeys also have very large, elastic cheeks which are used in gathering food and storing it in their mouths for safety. Males in this species are larger than the females.
Red-tailed monkeys are found in East and Central Africa. They occur in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and possibly Burundi. These monekys live in tropical moist forests, swamp forest, riverine and gallery forest.
Red-tailed monkeys are social primates that form groups of 7-30 individuals. The groups consist of one dominant male and females and their offspring. Groups generally stay together throughout the day and through life, except for males who reach maturity. These males will leave the group they were born into and go on to form all-male groups with other males or survive alone until they can replace the dominant male of a different social group. Females in a group help take care of their own young as well as the young of other females in the group. Red-tailed monkeys are active in the early morning and evening. They are arboreal but may come to the ground. In the trees, they are very active and travel at great speeds. On the ground, they travel quadrupedally, on all four legs. They rest and prefer to spend most of the time in trees but forage on the ground. As they forage, these monkeys gather their findings in the cheek pouches. They can forage in one area and then carry their food away to another location where it is safe to consume without the threat of another stealing from them. Red-tailed monkeys communicate physically, vocally, visually and also demonstrate social dominance, submissiveness, or greeting.
Red-tailed monkeys are polygynous meaning that one male mates with multiple females. The breeding season takes place from November extending into the month of February; however, breeding can occur throughout the year. Females give birth to a single young per mating season. The gestation period lasts around 6 months. Infants weigh around 400 g and are entirely dependent upon their mother. She will provide food for her baby, transportation and grooming. Females become reproductively mature at 4-5 years of age and males at the age of 6.
There appear to be no major threats to Red-tailed monkeys at present. However, some locations of their habitat suffer from deforestation and hunting pressure as well.
According to IUCN, the Red-tailed monkey is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Red-tailed monkeys act as important seed dispersers as they collect fruit and other food items. In addition, they are prey items for some local predators such as Crowned hawk-eagles, wild cats, and occasionally, chimpanzees.