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WHY PROTECT THE CAPE VERDE GREEN MONKEY?

THE MONKEY POPULATION IS IN DECLINE

The Cape Verde monkey is a green cercopithecus (green monkey), scientific name "Chlorocebus sabaeus", of the Cercopithecidae family. Its presence on the islands of Santiago and Brava is attested by historical sources since the 16th century. Thus, for more than 500 years, monkeys have lived alongside the inhabitants of rural towns on the island of Santiago and Brava, the only two islands in Cape Verde where the green monkey is present. We can say that the monkey is part of the culture of the Cape Verdeans.

The green monkey has also been introduced to the islands of Barbados, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Without rapid action in favor of better management of the monkey population, it could disappear very quickly.

This is the observation made by the association on the basis of an empirical study carried out throughout this first year of activity.

Very little is mentioned in the various situation reports and strategic documents of national institutions related to the environment and biodiversity. The green monkey is not yet considered endangered on the African continent. The green monkey "Chlorocebus sabaeus" was in 2020 classified by the IUCN in the red list of species threatened with extinction as "Least concern". However, a downward trend in the population of monkeys has been observed in their natural geographical areas (Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia; Mali; Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone).

Regularly hunted or captured, the population of Cape Verde monkeys is estimated by the association to be in a situation of great vulnerability because the threats are numerous with a relatively high risk of extinction.

The pressure the monkey population is under is growing ; lack of data and protection actions, hunting, capture, agricultural and urban expansion, increasingly limited territory, deforestation, effects of climate change, etc... There are many threats that exert continuous pressure on reproduction of the species and therefore on its survival, because monkeys are massively captured to be sold, or killed when they cause damage in agricultural areas, or even killed for the meat trade.

The observations made on the island of Santiago by the association in the monkey habitat areas confirm that the groups of monkeys are more limited than before (between 10 and 15 individuals instead of 20-30 individuals) and these groups are increasingly isolated (fragmentation of the population).

In the absence of official data, on the basis of the first census observations carried out by the association in 6 habitat areas identified on the island of Santiago (area of ​