For only the second time in the last 28 years, a new species of African monkey, Cercopithecus Iomamiensis, locally known as the lesula, has been discovered--in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Along with anatomical and behavioral observations in the field, genetic analyses demonstrated conclusively that the lesula is distinct from its closest relative, the owl-faced monkey.
"We are very lucky that we found the lesula while there is still time to save it, and the discovery fuels the drive to raise awareness about--and support for--conservation of this incredibly diverse ecosystem."
The lesula seriously is threatened by uncontrolled commercial bush meat hunting that has expanded into the species' range over the past decade.
In addition to the lesula, the surveys discovered that the forest is home to other rare and endangered species, including the okapi, Congo's endemic forest giraffe; and the bonobo; as well as 10 other species and subspecies of primates.
Washington, September 13 ( ANI ): In a new study, researchers have identified a new species of African monkey - locally known as the lesula.
The first lesula found was a young captive animal seen in 2007 in a school director's compound in the town of Opala in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Over the following three years, the study authors located additional lesula in the wild, determined its genetic and anatomical distinctiveness, and made initial observations of its behaviour and ecology.
Although its range is remote and only lightly settled at present, the lesula is threatened by local bush meat hunting.