Akpugoeze Monkeys (Sclater’s monkey)
Species: C. sclateri
Sclater’s guenon (Cercopithecus sclateri), also known as Sclater’s monkey and the Nigerian monkey, is an Old World monkey that was first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1904 and named after Philip Sclater. It is an arboreal and diurnal primate that lives in the forests of southern Nigeria.
The diet of Sclater’s guenon is unknown. The species is likely primarily a frugivore that supplements its diet with other plant parts and insects, based on data from closely related species.
Sclater’s guenon was thought to be nearly extinct until the late 1980s. The species is now known to occur in several isolated populations between the Niger, Enugu and Cross Rivers in southern Nigeria. This region falls in the Guinean Forests of the West Africa biodiversity hotspot.
The species does not occur in any officially protected areas, but three populations of Sclater’s guenon are known to be protected by local people who consider the monkeys to have sacred status. Mostly because of hunting and habitat fragmentation and loss, thus increasing population isolation and decline, Sclater’s guenon is listed as a vulnerable species.
Monkeys at Akpugoeze are preserved due to the tradition and culture of the people in the community. The people of Akpugoeze do not harm, hunt or eat monkeys.
In most parts of Nigeria, monkeys and other wild animals are hunted by people. This makes them very shy and difficult to see in their natural homes, but it is not like that in Akpugoeze, due to tradition and culture. However, the people of Umuokpasialm and Amagu villages in Akpugoeze do not harm, kill or eat monkeys.
The Sclater’s monkey found in Akpugoeze is a rare species that can only be found in south-eastern Nigeria.
Why not take a trip to Akpugoeze to see it for yourself. What a beautiful monkey!