Abstract # 1170 Event # 86:

Scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:00 AM-01:00 PM: Session 14 (Bwindi) Symposium

SYMPOSIUM: The Mangabeys of Africa: Highly Threatened and Poorly Known

C. L. Ehardt1, J. G. Else2 and W. S. McGraw3
1University of Georgia, Dept. of Anthropology, Athens, GA 30602-1619, USA, 2Yerkes National Primate Research Center/Emory University, 3Ohio State University
     In January 2005, the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group “African Primates Red List Assessment Workshop” indicated that mangabeys (Cercocebus spp. and Lophocebus spp.) are one of the two most threatened groups of African primates. At the same time, mangabey taxonomy is under debate and the ecology and behavior of mangabey taxa are relatively unknown, compromising conservation efforts. A diverse array of specialists will appraise current knowledge, frame further research, and assess conservation needs and efforts for these highly threatened African primates. Mangabey phylogeny and taxonomy are addressed utilizing fossil, craniometric, molecular, and biogeographic data. The SIVsm lentivirus in mangabeys, its relation to HIV therapies, and the concomitant ground-breaking program by the Yerkes Primate Center to effect in situ conservation of sooty mangabeys in Tai, Cote d’Ivoire, illustrate the importance of the biomedical community’s research. Synthesis of field data for the best studied of the Cercocebus taxa (the Tai sooty mangabeys, the Tana River mangabey, the Sanje mangabey, and the agile mangabey) reveals an ecological pattern contrasting with the known Lophocebus spp. and elucidating their anatomical characteristics and phylogenetic relationship to Mandrillus. Specifically for Lophocebus, the ecology of male transfer in the Kibale grey-cheeked mangabeys is examined in detail. The symposium concludes with a comprehensive analysis of the conservation status, known threats and associated recommendations for mangabeys in Africa’s global hotspots, including the newly-discovered highland mangabey.