A sooty mangabey is born at the Barcelona Zoo
This birth confirms the success of the European Endangered Programmeme for the preservation and reproduction of this specie, which is coordinated in Barcelona
The baby mangabey was born the 26th of December in good health condition and can be visited at the primate gallery at the Zoo
Last December 26th, a sooty mangabey baby was born at the Barcelona Zoo. The baby is in good health conditions and is already with the mother, the two can now be seen at the primate gallery. This birth confirms the success of the European Endangered Programmeme for the preservation and reproduction of this specie, which is coordinated in Barcelona. The sooty mangabey is one of the most threatened primate species around the world.
The mother is called Mónika, she was born in Barcelona in 2009 and, despite this is her first baby, she has been able to take care of his child from the very first moment. The father is called Racky, a 11 years old mangabey who came to Barcelona from Accra (Ghana) almost a year ago.
Preservation and Reproduction Programmeme of the sooty mangabey
The Barcelona Zoo coordinates this Programmeme of preservation for the sooty mangabey, with the objective of maintaining a sustainable population of mangabeys, in order to contribute to the “in situ” and “ex situ” preservation of the specie.
The programmeme started in 1999 with 41 individuals divided in 10 different groups. Their reproduction was irregular and with high rates of consanguinity. Nowadays, there are 80 individuals in 15 EAZA institutions, which indicates not only the success of the programmeme but also that they have to keep working and improving.
The programmeme pioneered the “ex situ” preservation when in 2003 the Zoo of Accra, located into the native area of the sooty mangabey joined in. The incorporation of the Zoo of Accra helped to strengthen the “in situ” programmeme by the WAPCA (West African Primate Conservation Action) since it increased the genetic variability of the population by incorporating wild specimens from confiscation. Barcelona Zoo is a member of WAPCA since it was founded in 2001.
Beyond this collaboration for the "in situ" conservation of the species, the Barcelona Zoo Foundation has awarded, between 2011 i 2013, 3 PRIC grants worth almost 32.000€, designed to conduct studies and rehabilitation of the facilities for the mangabeys in Accra. The Foundation also includes this preservation programme within its crowdfunding platform, through which everyone can make their contributions to promote this and other projects.
The natural habitat of the sooty mangabey is located in West Africa (Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso), and the wild population is decreasing drastically due to the reduction and disappearance of the forests, but also due to hunting for human consumption. It is listed as an endangered species on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is considered one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.