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April 15, 2015

World's first photo of monkey thought extinct in Congo

For the first time ever, primatologists have been able to photograph the critically endangered Bouvier's red colobus in the Republic of Congo. The photograph, taken by a primatological expedition seeking to establish its distribution, adds to the information on the distribution and conservation status of this endemic red colobus monkey. Recent surveys by the Wildlife Conservation Society had previously recorded red colobus in a new National Park in the north of the country in 2007 and 2014, but they were very rarely encountered and no photograph had been taken. The present expedition visited both this park and ranged more widely in this relatively remote region but found that it was subject to commercial hunting, which has serious impacts for red colobus monkeys.

Press release Wildlife Conservation Society

Personal press release including quotes

Research project



Lieven Devreese (27) is an independent researcher with experience on several projects in Central Africa. For his Master thesis he studied agile mangabeys in the Central African Republic in 2010. Devreese hopes to start a PhD project soon with a subject on phylogeography of monkeys in the Congo Basin.

CV Lieven Devreese including contact details

Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo (25) is a student at the Marien-Ngouabi University in Brazzaville. He grew up in the village of Bomassa, close to the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Gnondo Gobolo conducted his Bachelor thesis in collaboration with WCS working in this National Park in the north of the country.


The world's first photo of Bouvier's red colobus (Piliocolobus bouvieri) taken early March 2015 in the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in the Republic of Congo. The photo shows an adult female with offspring.
Photo: Lieven Devreese.
Map of the expedition area showing the route the team followed, the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park where Bouvier's red colobus was observed, and the different sites where information was obtained from local hunters.
Map: Lieven Devreese.

Video of an adult female Bouvier's red colobus (Piliocolobus bouvieri) in the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in the Republic of Congo.
Video: Lieven Devreese. (130 Mb)