Monkey See, Monkey New
Scientists discover new genus of primate, and it’s already in trouble
Scientists have discovered a new monkey in Africa, the first new genus of primate found in 83 years. Called kipunji by native villagers, scientists have classified the monkey under the genus Rungwecebus, after its habitat on Mount Rungwe in Tanzania. Kipunji live in groups of 30 to 36, are omnivores, and communicate via a “honk-bark” sound. Hmm, kind of like our boss. The monkey was found in the forests of Tanzania last year, but scientists have just determined its significance. “The discovery of a new genus makes this animal a true conservation celebrity,” said Tim Davenport of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Enjoy the kipunji while you can: Its habitat is disappearing because of illegal logging, and scientists estimate only 500 to 800 remain in the wild. WCS has set up a website dedicated to protecting the monkey and is calling for action to conserve its habitat.