Black and White Colobus Monkey

Black and White Colobus Monkey Face

COMMON NAME: Black-and-white colobus


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colobus guereza

TYPE: Mammals

FOOD: Herbivores (Acacia leaves at the apex of the tree)

HABITAT: Lowland, montane forests, and gallery forests

SIZE: 75 centimeters long (2.5 feet)



GESTATION PERIOD: 4 to 6 months

WEIGHT: 7.8-13.5 kg (17 lb – 30 lb)

Baby black and White Colobus Monkey
Baby black and White Colobus Monkey


Black and white Colobus Monkey

(Colobus Guereza)

About the Black-and-white colobus

Eastern Black-and-white Colobus of the genus Colobus is often classified as a member of the old world monkeys. A native Africa but predominantly distributed to much of East and Western of Africa. In East Africa, the Black and White Colobus Monkey is found Tanzania’s Arusha national park, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa like Chad, Cameroun, Equitorial Guinea, and Nigeria.

The Colobus Monkey Hands, Thumb and Tail

black and white colobus monkey hand, thumbThe Meaning of the name “colobus” comes from the Greek word for “mutilated,” because unlike other primates and monkeys to be specific, colobus monkeys do not have thumbs on their elongated hand. These long hands help them to move seamlessly from tree to tree. They are characterized by their beautiful black fur that stands out from their long white mantle, whiskers, beard around the face and a silky yet long, bushy tail.

The Black and White Colobus Monkey is a social colobine that can live in groups numbering up to fifteen solid members.

The Black and White Colobus Monkey is spends most of its life in trees, but does sometimes can be found on the ground travelling, grooming and looking for food.

The Eastern Black and White vs Angolan Black and White Colobus Monkey

The Eastern black-and-white Colobus Monkey is uniquely identified by a U-shaped cape of white hair running from the shoulders to lower back, while the Angolan black-and-white Colobus Monkey has white hairs sticking out only at the shoulders.

The brown colobus monkeys of genus Piliocolobus are the closest cousins to the Black and white Colobus Monkey of the genus Colobus. The word “colobus” came as a result of the Monkeys thumb that is mutilated coming from the Greek κολοβός kolobós that means docked.

Behavior, Habitat, and Diet of the Black and White Colobus

The main diet of the Black and white colobus consists of leaves, fruit, flowers, and twigs hence they are herbivores and they spend most of their lives on trees. They make both primary and secondary forests, and wooded grasslands their homes although they prefer more dense logged forests than any other primary forests.

Black and White Colobus Monkeys live in groups of about nine individuals in a territory often dictated by a single alpha male ruling over a number of females and their young ones. When a baby colobus is born, it is usually white in colour and it is the responsibility of all the female members of a group to take care of young ones not only the mother.

Adaptation to the environment

Black and White Colobus monkeys have adapted ruminant-like digestive systems have enabled these leaf-eaters to occupy places that are not accessible and favourable to other primates and competitors in the food chain.

The complex digestive system of the Colobus Monkey allows it to consume more mature foliage that can be toxic to other animals. There are quite lightweight in mass as compared to other primates due to their light bone structure and elongated limbs that allow it to move easily and seamlessly through their habitats.

The importance of the Black and White Colobus Monkeys is to disperse seeds through their sloppy eating habits, as the seeds are not digested hence they are passed down as stools and this helps to spread seeds naturally.

Predators and Dangers Facing the Black and White Colobus Population

The Black and White Colobus Monkeys sometimes fall prey to many forest predators like leopards but the biggest threat facing them is illegal hunting for their meat and skins, deforestation (illegal logging), and habitat destruction by humans for settlement.

The best place to see the Black and White Colobus Monkey

In Tanzania, the best place to see the Black and White Colobus is at the Arusha National park in Northern Tanzania. Also known as the Kikuyu Colobus in Kenya, they can be found in rainforests around the Ngong Escarpment, Mount Kenya, and the Aberdare Mountain Range in. In East Africa, they live in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, which is on the Easter Side of Africa.

Colobus Monkey Adventure Safaris

    Frequently asked questions

    FAQs About Black & White Colobus

    Are black and white colobus monkeys endangered?

    Yes, the black colobus monkey is one of the most endangered species of African primates like the king colobus which is considered to be more and highly endangered. Major threats facing the black and white colobus actually include habitat destruction and hunting by humans

    Where do black and white Colobus monkeys live?

    The Black and White Colobus Monkeys live in many types of forests and they can be found at the Arusha national park in Tanzania. The two species of black and white colobus monkeys can be found in Kenya, those that inhabit coastal forests and those in inland high-country areas. The highly endangered and quite rare Red colobus monkeys are also found in East Africa. Two other types of colobus monkeys in Africa are the black and the olive colobus.

    What do black and white colobus monkeys eat?

    The favourite food of the Black and White Colobus monkeys are forest tree leaves which are tender and contain very high protein nutrients. Their menu also consists of unripe fruits, seeds, flowers, and tree barks that are of dietary and medicinal value.

    Is a colobus monkey a herbivore?

    Colobus monkeys are 100% herbivorous as they survive entirely on greens which include leaves, fruits, flowers, twigs, and barks making them herbivorous.

    Why Are colobus monkeys endangered?

    The black and white Colobus and the Red colobus monkeys are highly endangered as they face both natural and human-induced threats to their existence. Among their top predators are the Leopards and large eagles. As for human induced threats that endanger these monkeys it is due to being hunted for their meat, as habitat loss because of a high rate of forest degradation caused by humans for agriculture, logging, and human settlement.

    Are humans Old World or New World?

    Old World monkeys like the Black and White Colobus Monkeys all belong to one family, Cercopithecidae, which is related to apes and humans, and together they are classified as catarrhines (meaning “downward-nosed” in Latin). The New World monkeys are the platyrrhines (“flat-nosed” in Latin), a group comprising five families.

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