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New Primate Found in Africa

by Judy Purdy


Intro  |  No Luck Then a Jackpot  |  Co-Discovery   |  Demonstrating the Value of the Forests   |  Nature of the Species

Days and Nights in the Forest


Demonstrating the Value of the Forests

Instead of scooping Davenport’s team — a frequent practice when scientists make co-discoveries — Ehardt withdrew her team’s paper from Science in order to co-author a more comprehensive one with Davenport’s team. “It was a win-win situation for everyone, especially the mangabey,” she said. “Adding another endangered primate to the list shows how vital it is to conserve Tanzania’s Southern Highlands [where Davenport’s team saw the new mangabey], in addition to the Udzungwa Mountains. In fact, it is more important, given the extreme alteration and destruction of the Southern Highlands forests.”

Davenport, who has worked in more than 50 forests in Uganda through much of the 1990s, said he was very familiar with the gray-cheeked mangabey, and “knew that this new animal was significantly different in appearance and call. The first time I saw [the Highland mangabey] well, at the end of 2003, I was a little dumbstruck, although as I have reported elsewhere, my actual first words are not really repeatable!”

Discovering the same mangabey in both areas confirms that there’s still much to learn about forests in Tanzania and other regions of Africa. “The Eastern Arcs have long been known to be very valuable for their biodiversity and endemism (species native to a limited geographical area),” Davenport said. “While the Southern Highlands have been much neglected, this discovery further demonstrates their value and supports the work we have been doing on the biogeographical links between the Southern Highlands and the Eastern Arcs.”


Intro  |  No Luck Then a Jackpot  |  Co-Discovery   |  Demonstrating the Value of the Forests   |  Nature of the Species


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