Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis)

The blue monkey is the most widespread forest guenon in east Africa — uniform dark blue-grey in color except for its white throat and chest patch, with thick fur and backward-projecting hair on its forehead.

The blue monkey is common in most Ugandan forests, where it lives in troops of between four and 12 animals and frequently associates with other primates. It is also known as the diademedguenon, samango monkey, Sykes’s monkey, gentle monkey and white-throated guenon (the last regarded as a separate species by some authorities).

Over 20 races are identified, of which three are found in Uganda, including the striking and very localized golden monkey, which is more-or-less restricted to bamboo forest in the Virunga Mountains.

Blue monkeys occur in all but two of Uganda’s national parks (Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo being the exceptions) and in practically every other forest in the country.

Uganda Blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis)

The Blue monkey lives in many forest types, including lowland and montane tropical moist forest, riverine, gallery forest, delta forest, mangrove forest and bamboo forest. Also found in sand forest, secondary forest, logged forest and thickets.

Despite its eurytopic ecology, grassland, bushland and open woodland act as distributional barrier which (partly) explains its current fragmented geographical range.

Group size is typically 10–25 individuals (range 3–65 individuals). Cercopithecus mitis is a poor coloniser in response to forest fragmentation. Rarely occupies small (<50 ha) forest patches.

This monkey has a flexible, broad, diet but primarily eats ripe fruits and invertebrates. Also forages on leaves, seeds, flowers, stems, galls, bark, gum, fungi and small vertebrates.

The Blue monkey is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its geographical range.