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Residents urged to assist in survey

News - Date: 27 February 2012

Written by: Andries van Zyl / Viewed: 674


Residents of the Soutpansberg are urged to assist researchers in a survey to determine the distribution of Samango Monkeys in die mountain range.

“What is urgently needed is a proper assessment of Samango distribution and population status in order to help the conservation and management of these monkeys. As part of my doctoral research, I am currently establishing in which forest patches in the Soutpansberg Samango Monkeys occur,” said Mrs Bibi Linden. She added that Samangos had also been unofficially recorded in the Blouberg mountain range.

Samango Monkeys are found only in and near high-canopy forests, which, in the Soutpansberg, are found mostly along the northern slopes. In this they differ from the widely distributed Vervet Monkey, which inhabits much drier habitat such as acacia woodland. Samango Monkeys also differ in size and appearance from Vervet Monkeys (see pictures). As the Samango needs a high-canopy forest habitat, its distribution is very restricted and patchy across South Africa. Forests, and thus all the species inhabiting them, are under enormous pressure (directly bordered by timber plantations, suffering from deforestation and invasion by alien plants, etc.). Samango Monkeys are listed as vulnerable in the Red Data Book of the Mammals of South Africa.

“The first step of my project involves generating a list of Samango Monkey sightings across the study area. As the study area is large, I can not survey every forest patch in the Soutpansberg for the presence or absence of Samango Monkeys and am thus asking the public for help in this regard,” says Linden.

She requests everyone who has seen Samango Monkeys or has them on their farm to contact her. If possible, the date and time of sighting, number of individuals encountered, name of forest patch or farm and GPS coordinates must be provided.

For more information or to report a sighting, contact Linden at 071 105 8117 or by email at

The Samango Monkey has a light grey to grey face, black front legs, grey hind legs, orange coloured fur at the tail base (sometimes even a slight orange shimmer on the back), very long and fluffy hair on the cheeks and is generally larger in body size and has longer, shaggier fur compared to Vervet Monkeys. Photos supplied.


Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.


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