Patas monkey

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TAXONOMY

Suborder: Haplorrhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Cercopithecinae
Genus: Erythrocebus
Species: E. patas

Other names: Patas, red guenon, red monkey, military monkey, nisnas, Aïr patas, Aïr red, black-nosed patas, west African patas, west African red monkey, blue nile hussar monkey, dancing red monkey, nile patas, Ikoma patas or red hussar monkey; engabwor (Ateso); cercopitheque patas, le singe rouge, patas (French); husarenaffe (German); elwala (Karamajong); naggawo (Luganda); ayom (Lwo); akahinda (Runyoro); husarapa or patasapa (Swedish).

Conservation status: Least concern

Life span: 21.6 years
Total population: Unknown
Regions: Equatorial Africa
Gestation: 167 days
Height: 600 to 875 mm (M), 490 mm (F)
Weight: 12.4 kg (M), 6.5 kg (F)

Traditionally, only one species of patas monkey has been recognized but up to four subspecies have been proposed, E.p.baumstarki, E.p.patas, E.p.pyrrhonotus, E.p.villiersi. These subspecies are disputed and may only represent geographical divisions of the species (see Groves 2001; Grubb et al. 2003).

MORPHOLOGY

Patas perching on a fence post
Erythrocebus patas

Patas monkeys are a slender species colored red-brown dorsally and grey-white ventrally (Rowe 1996). The face can be recognized by a black brow ridge and nose as well as by the white area around the mouth (Loy 1974). Adult E. p. pyrrhonotus have a white nose, changing from black as they approach sexual maturity (K. Enstam, pers. comm.). During pregnancy, the facial hair of female patas monkeys noticeably lightens, potentially as a result of changing hormone levels (Palmer et al. 1981). Males possess a bright blue scrotum (Groves 2001; Rowe 1996). Patas exhibit a large degree of sexual dimorphism with adult males weighing 12.4 kg (27.3 lb) and adult females weighing 6.5 kg (14.3 lb) on average (Galat-Luong et al. 1996). The patas male measures, excluding the tail, 600 to 875 mm (23.6 to 34.4 in) and the female measures 490 mm (19.3 in) on average (Rowe 1996). The maximum recorded longevity for a patas monkey in the wild is 21.6 years (Ross 1991).

Patas monkeys are physically adapted for life on the ground. Their slender bodies and long limbs are morphologically suited for terrestrial movement and speed rather than for arboreal movement (Gartlan 1974). Patas monkeys are quadrupedal and their terrestrial locomotion is extremely quick for a primate, with a maximum speed of approximately 55 km per hour (34.2 mph) reported (Hall 1965). Their especially long forelimbs facilitate this high running speed which provides an avenue of escape from predators (Etter 1973). In addition, they will occasionally assume a bipedal stance when alarmed, and can move bipedally if carrying an item in both hands (Hall 1965). The tail curves down while on the ground, but is raised when on a narrow surface such as a tree branch, most likely for balance (Hall 1965; Hall et al. 1965). When descending, the tail performs as a brace and controls the monkey’s descent (Hall et al. 1965; Struhsaker & Gartlan 1970).

RANGE

CURRENT RANGE MAPS (IUCN REDLIST):
Erythrocebus patas

Patas monkeys occur in a broad band across central Africa, between the Sahara in the north and the equatorial rain forests in the south (Chism & Rowell 1988). They occur from Senegal on the west coast of Africa all the way east to the Sudan and south to Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa’s Great Lakes (Tappen 1960). Kenya, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and northern Tanzania form the southern border of the patas’ range. To the north, their range extends into Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad (Rowe 1996). There is some debate as to the easternmost extent of their territory with some extending their range into Somalia (Kingdon 1971). Other countries in the patas range include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda. Within their range, populations are sometimes spotty with gaps where no patas are to be found, however the greatest population densities are in west central Africa (Gartlan pers. comm. cited in Wolfheim 1974).

An artificially introduced population of patas in Puerto Rico was brought to the locality for research by the Caribbean Primate Research Center in the 1960s (Gonzalez-Martinez 1998). This population is allowed to be free-ranging and a number of individuals migrated to mainland Puerto Rico where a breeding population of unknown size lives (Gonzalez-Martinez 1998).

The first study of wild patas monkeys was undertaken by K.R.L. Hall in Uganda during the 1960s. Since, there have been several other studies of wild and semi-wild patas in Cameroon, Kenya and Puerto Rico, in addition to a number of captive studies. Other notable patas researchers include Janice Chism, Karin Enstam, Lynne Isbell, and Naofumi Nakagawa.

HABITAT

Open country is the domain of the patas monkey, but they adapt well and tolerate several types of habitat (Tappen 1960). The patas monkey habitat can range from savanna and steppe to woodland and thorn scrub, and from true desert to relatively moist areas (Hall 1965, Chism et al. 1984). The patas monkey prefers wide open areas and ventures only into those woodlands near open areas (Gartlan, pers. comm. 1974 cited in Wolfheim 1983). In one study, patas were demonstrated to prefer grassland in the wet season and they preferred to sleep in woodlands to avoid predators (Nakagawa 1999). Their habitat can also be classified as having moderate to low rainfall and marked dry seasons (Hall 1965, Gartlan 1974). When offered a choice between short and tall trees, patas monkeys prefer taller trees and spend more of their time in them (Enstam and Isbell 2004).

Patas have been studied in three discrete areas of their broad range, Uganda, Kenya and Cameroon. Ugandan patas are found in a range of vegetation zones including steppe, woodland, thicket, and grass and wooded savanna (Hall 1965). Within this area of patas occupation is a great variety of climate and vegetation ranging from a dichotomy of hot, dry winters and rainy summers to areas where it can rain year-round. As a result, the rainfall totals for the Uganda patas habitat vary quite a bit also, from 500 to 1250 mm (19.7 to 49.2 in) per year on average (Hall 1965). The Kenyan habitat, near the southeastern end of their range, contains patas populations that were observed to reside in areas anywhere from treeless grassland to dense woodland to savanna woodland. Rainfall in these areas averaged 630 mm (24.8 in) per year with the most rain falling between April and November and the least in January (Chism & Rowell 1988). In Cameroon, the patas monkey has been studied in the African Sahel, a semi-desert ecosystem with annual rainfall of less than 508 mm (20 in) and a prolonged dry season (Tappen 1960). The most important trait of the Sahel is its precipitation which is low and seasonal (Gartlan 1974). The water sources in the Sahel areas are vitally important for all of the mammals living there, including the patas monkey. A patas must drink two or three times a day during the dry season (Gartlan 1974).

ECOLOGY

The patas monkey’s diet varies with changes in food availability due to the seasonality of its environment. It is most aptly described as omnivorous, relying on plant material, insects, and animal material for sustenance. During the rainy season, it will eat plant materials including fruits, flowers, leaves, stems and gums as well as insects, other animal material, and fungi (Nakagawa 1989; Hall 1965). It is suggested that their rainy season diet choice reflects the life cycle of the plants on which they rely which produce fruit and berries during this time (Nakagawa 1989). Patas do the majority of their feeding on the ground, with up to 85% of feeding activity occurring terrestrially (Gartlan 1974). Also of importance to the patas is the inclusion of insects in their diet, as evidenced by the relatively high expenditure of foraging time to obtain them. Grasses play a surprisingly unimportant dietary role as one would expect a resource as available as grass to comprise at least some part of patas subsistence (Chism & Rowell 1988). In one study in Kenya, the patas diet was observed to be almost two-thirds gum and arthropods, which would make them by far the physically largest primarily exudativorous or insectivorous primate (Isbell 1998). Patas have been observed catching and eating lizards and even robbing eggs from the nests of birds in trees (Hall 1965). Further, patas will take immature weaver bird chicks from their nests and eat them (K. Enstam, pers. comm.). There are also instances in which patas were observed catching and eating fish out of evaporating natural pools in Senegal (Galat-Luong 1991). In habitats near cultivated areas, there is a high instance of crop-raiding by patas (Chism & Rowell 1988).

Patas perching on a branch
Erythrocebus patas

Daily patas activity can be divided into two main activity periods, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, divided by a roughly one-to-two hour resting period around midday (Hall 1965; Nakagawa 1989). During the morning and afternoon activity periods, time is spent feeding, grooming, and on social activities, with grooming and social activities mostly taking place in the morning and the resting period (Hall 1965). Overnight, the patas stay in sleeping trees, preferring to sleep one individual per tree, except in the case of mothers with infants who will remain together (Chism et al. 1983). This behavior reduces the risk of predation and assists with concealment as it is difficult to see one individual in the crown of a tree (Chism et al. 1983). Typically, patas will not sleep in the same tree for two consecutive nights but this may only be in areas where the predation risk is high, as sleeping-tree sharing among several individuals in the same night has been observed in wild populations in Cameroon (Nakagawa 1999). The daytime patas anti-predation strategy has three aspects, consisting of crypsis, watchfulness, and speed (Chism 1999). Potential predators of the patas monkey include dogs, humans, felids, hyenas, raptors and possibly baboons (Chism et al. 1983; Chism & Rowell 1988; Enstam & Isbell 2002).

Because patas habitat is marked by seasonality between dry and wet seasons, patas behavior changes accordingly between these seasons in relation to their proximity and usage of available water. Overall, wet season observations of Ugandan patas recorded markedly rare drinking behaviors (Hall 1965). During the dry season however, patas were observed congregating around remaining water sources, and the staying nearby and incidence of drinking and agonistic behavior between groups increased considerably (Struhsaker & Gartlan 1970).

The home range and daily path length of the patas monkey can vary considerably among different groups at different locations. In Uganda, the patas home range was estimated to be 52 km² (20.1 mi²) and the daily path to be .7 km to 11.8 km (.43 to 7.33 mi) (Hall 1965). In Kenya, the patas home range was observed to be 23.4 km² to 32 km² (9.03 to 12.36 mi²) and their daily path was 3.83 km to 4.22 km (2.38 to 2.62 mi) (Chism and Rowell 1988). Cameroonian observations put the home range at 2.66 to 4.4 km² (1.03 to 1.7 mi²) (Nakagawa 1999). This significant variation may be due to patas behavior changing with the seasons and the available water supply. It has been suggested that the reason that patas move more than many Old World Monkeys and the reason why their morphology is so well suited to movement, is their diet, which is widely dispersed but high in quality (Isbell 1998).

Content last modified: December 18, 2006

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Karin Enstam.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2006 December 18. Primate Factsheets: Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/patas_monkey/taxon>. Accessed 2020 July 15.

 

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND BEHAVIOR

2 Patas perching on a branch
Erythrocebus patas

Two distinct types of group organization can be observed among patas monkeys over the majority of the year. The first type is the polygynous group of variable numbers of females and one male. The other type is that of all-male groups although occasionally mixed-sex groups with two adult males have been known to occur (Hall 1965; Struthsaker & Gartlan 1970; Gartlan 1974). During mating season, which corresponds with the summer rainy season, other males may enter the single male group to copulate. There is little to no intra-group mobility among females and they stay with their natal group for life. Most likely, females determine movements of the group and sleeping sites because they are more familiar with the home range of the group than the transitory males (Chism et al. 1984).

It was long debated if a defined dominance hierarchy of female patas monkeys existed but at present, the consensus is that it does exist. This hierarchy is not as well defined or as firm as those of other Cercopithecines and it is likely that the patas monkey dominance hierarchy is not kin-based (Chism & Rogers 2002). Nakagawa (1992) supports the view of a discrete hierarchy of female patas monkeys and suggests that the male is always at the periphery of the group. The hierarchy of patas females remains somewhat static once established and is maintained through submissive and aggressive actions between the patas females. Kinship relationships between females also serve to help keep a patas group together (Nakagawa 1992). In one captive study, when a new group was created, the adult females formed a dominance hierarchy within several months through agonistic interactions (Loy & Harnois 1988). There is evidence of post-conflict reconciliation among patas females with increases in contact between former adversaries following agonistic interactions (York & Rowell 1988). The male interacts infrequently with the females of his group and spends most of his time at its periphery. It is from this position that the male spends a large part of his time scanning the landscape for predators or males from other groups who may challenge him (Hall 1965; Nakagawa 1992). In captivity, this model of the sole male at the edge of the group holds, with the male aloof and indifferent to intra-group social interactions (Hall & Mayer 1967).

2 Patas grooming
Erythrocebus patas

Grooming plays an important role in patas social organization and can indicate hierarchies within a group as well as relationships between individuals doing the grooming (Rowell & Olson 1983). High status within a patas hierarchy group is reflected by grooming frequency. Nakagawa (1992) observed that high status female patas received more grooming than lower status group members. Grooming also serves to facilitate allomothering, as grooming of a mother may allow the groomer access to the motherÕs infant (Muroyama 1994). Status or rank also seems to play a role in grooming of the adult male within a polygynous patas group. In captivity, most of the grooming of the resident male was done by high status females (Loy & Harnois 1988). There is evidence that the smaller the patas group, the higher the instance of allogrooming (Chism & Rogers 2002). This higher rate of grooming with smaller size groups most likely serves to reinforce group cohesion as a smaller group is more vulnerable to outside interference.

The males choose to leave their natal group by puberty or are driven out when they reach sexual maturity by the resident adult male (Gartlan 1974). Sometimes the male will leave his natal group with a brother, a kin relation which may help them both survive (Chism 1999). This displacement occurs typically at around three years of age and they may remain solitary or in all male groups until they are fully grown at around five years of age (Chism et al. 1988). The purpose of the all-male patas group appears to be to provide safety for young or infirm males and for protection against predators and other threats (Ohsawa 2003).

It was long believed that patas groups organized themselves in polygynous mating systems but now it is assumed that this type of mating system is the exception rather than the rule (Harding & Olson 1986). One male is present through the year with a group of females but other males infiltrate the group during the mating season to breed with group females (Harding & Olson 1986; Carlson & Isbell 2001). In fact, the flow of males into and out of groups is best described as dynamic, particularly in the mating season (Chism & Rowell 1986). In at least one study it was shown that these sneak matings are initiated by the females in the group (Ohsawa 1993). Some years, patas groups may remain exclusive single-male mating systems while in subsequent years the same group may be a multi-male system (Carlson & Isbell 2001).

Most supplantation of the single male in the polygynous groups occurs during the mating season and serves to provide the challenger with access to mating with resident females. Supplantation occurs when a male from another group challenges the single male and may be accomplished through fighting and chasing (Ohsawa 2003). Depending on the victor, either the resident male is removed from his position as the sole male or the challenger remains peripheral. When challenged by an extra-group male, the resident male has a higher probability of winning the fight (Chism & Rogers 1997). Supplantation by a challenger male is sometimes followed by a short-lived multi-male polygynous mating system in which several males are actively breeding within a group (Ohsawa et al. 1993). This is most likely the result of the new resident male being too preoccupied with mating to chase other males away (Ohsawa 2003).

Multiple patas monkeys perching on fence posts
Erythrocebus patas

Patas polygynous group size is quite variable, from 20 to as large as 76 individuals (Enstam et al 2002; Ohsawa 2003). It appears that all-male groups are typically smaller than the polygynous groups with Cameroonian all-male group observed with 15 to as few as two individuals (Struhsaker & Gartlan 1970; Ohsawa 2003). Inter-group encounters are typically agonistic but rarely physical and serve to assist in group resource defense (Chism et al. 1984).

requently, a patas monkey will continuously scan its environment and monitor its surroundings both quadrupedally and bipedally and, if available, will seek out a high vantage point to do so (Rowell & Olson 1983; Chism 1999; Enstam & Isbell 2004). This important behavior serves several purposes. The scanning alerts the patas in a group to predators and to non-group patas (Hall 1965; Nakagawa 1992). In addition, the scanning may serve as a social monitoring process and help with group coherence (Rowell & Olson 1983). Patas scan not only the landscape but also each other so that they are constantly aware of other patas’ actions which may serve to reduce agnostic encounters. This may also assist with the maintenance of acceptable distances between patas individuals which avoids agonism (Rowell & Olson 1983; McNelis & Boatright-Horowitz 1998). Because the patas monkey is a relatively silent species compared to other monkeys, the constant visual monitoring of the landscape as well as each other can serve as a type of communication in that most individuals will notice quickly if something is amiss with another individual (Rowell & Olson 1983).

REPRODUCTION

Patas monkeys have a clearly defined conception and birth season. Typically conception occurs in the summer wet season and births occur in the winter dry season (Struhsaker & Gartlan 1970; Nakagawa et al. 2003; Chism et al. 1983). Patas are able to obtain more nutrition in the dry season than in the wet and this may be one explanation for the seasonality of their reproduction (Nakagawa 2000). Another potential reason for such profound birth seasonality may be the availability of food during the breeding season which allows the prior year’s infant to be weaned, enabling the mothers to become pregnant again (Chism et al. 1984). In captivity, the patas monkey does not display this reproductive seasonality (Sly et al. 1983). In addition, wild patas monkeys typically give birth during the day which may be an adaptation to reduce the risks associated with nocturnal predators. Patas monkeys are vulnerable to nocturnal predators and rely on concealment at night to avoid said predators (Chism et al. 1983).

Mother patas and infant
Erythrocebus patas

The patas monkey in some cases participates in consortships in which a male and female will attend to, stay in close proximity to, and monitor one another. A consortship, as described above, lasts more than thirty minutes. During the course of this association, the male and female patas monkey will copulate. In addition, if other patas individuals approach, the two patas in consort will move even closer together (Harding & Olson 1986). These pairings may allow unfamiliar patas to assess one another’s reproductive fitness and allow the pair of monkeys to size each other up (Harding & Olson 1986).

In captivity, the average gestation period for a female patas monkey is 167 days (Sly et al. 1983). As a patas juvenile is fully able to take care of itself from six to seven months of age, this allows females to be ready to bear young again by the next breeding season and to essentially reproduce at the maximum rate possible (Chism et al. 1984). The age at first conception in females in both the wild and in captivity is approximately 2.5 years resulting in the first birth at around three years of age (Chism et al. 1984; Nakagawa et al. 2003). The male matures slightly later and can sire offspring at four years old, but rarely is able to do so due to his inability to access females (Rowell & Chism 1986). The average ovarian cycle of the captive patas female is 30 to 33 days and a degree of synchronization of estrus has been observed in a specific patas group (Rowell 1976; Loy et al. 1978; Rowell & Hartwell 1978).

A marked color change in the facial hair of female patas is observed during pregnancy. This has been observed in two separate studies in captivity. The facial hair begins to lighten in the second trimester of pregnancy and is at its maximum lightness between 1.5 and 2.5 months postpartum (Loy 1974; Palmer et al. 1981). Approximately three months postpartum, a darkening process begins returning the face to close to its pre-pregnancy color (Loy 1974). This color change may be the result of hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and may have a use in delineating the reproductive histories of females as the face does not always completely revert to pre-pregnancy coloration (Palmer et al. 1981). The bright blue color of the patas scrotum appears to play some role in competition for access to females, but its color exhibits no correlation with season, age, or health (Bercovitch 1996).

As to which sex initiates copulation, it appears that this is related to what type of mating system is in operation at any given time. In years when a multi-male/multi-female mating system is in place, males are much more likely to initiate copulation than in polygynous years. Females showed the converse, initiating copulation at a much higher rate during single-male mating years than in multi-male system years (Carlson & Isbell 2001). The female solicitation posture consists of the female placing herself in front of a male facing away from him in a crouching position and looking back at him while blowing air into her cheeks. She also may drool and curl her tail (Chism et al. 1984).

Group of Patas monkeys
Erythrocebus patas

There has also been at least one instance of probable infanticide by a patas male observed in the wild (Enstam et al. 2002). The reason for this killing is probably to increase mating opportunities for the male because he may then subsequently mate with the mother. Hrdy (1974) suggests that infanticide is beneficial when a male may only have a short time to mate before being supplanted by another male and when access to females is limited.

PARENTAL CARE

All patas females participate in allomothering. At present, it is not obvious what the benefits of allomothering are, although they may be related to social hierarchy based on who receives allomothering and who does the allomothering (Muroyama 1994; Nakagawa 1995). This behavior may also be related to an altruistic relationship between adult females (Nakagawa 1998). On at least one occasion in Cameroon, patas females of one group were observed to kidnap an infant from a different group, allomother it for a while and eventually abandon it (Nakagawa 1995). Allomothering may also serve to strengthen social interactions and group cohesion. In captivity, infant patas females were observed to receive significantly more allomothering from non-kin females that the male patas infants (Loy & Loy 1987). This preference to allomother female infants serves to integrate and reinforce relationships within the female natal group and to drive the males to their position at the periphery of the group. In captive studies, patas adult males seldom interact with mothers with infants and their behavior could even be described as avoidant (Chism 1986).

Patas monkeys demonstrate one of the shortest interbirth intervals of any Cercopithecine, averaging about one year between births (Chism et al. 1984; Nakagawa et al. 2003). The patas infant must be fully independent by one year of age as it will be displaced by a new infant. Orphaned patas infants have been observed to survive in the wild without being adopted as early as seven months of age (Chism et al. 1984).

In captivity, from birth until the fourth month of life, male and female infants receive comparable amounts of grooming and attention from their mothers. After this period of time, there is a marked increase in grooming and attention paid to female infants while grooming of the male infants remains the same (Loy & Loy 1987). This again shows the strong matrilineal bonds between adult females. After the fifth month of life, contact between the mother and her infant of either sex decreases steadily (Chism 1986). During this time the infant will continue to nurse at night, but represents only a small energetic cost to the mother. This nursing is merely a supplemental food source as the infant is quickly learning how to forage on its own. Complete weaning of the infant only occurs when the mother gives birth to a new infant, typically around one year of age (Chism 1986).

Mother patas and infant
Erythrocebus patas

Patas infants are born completely black in color and remain so for the first three months of their lives. In the subsequent three months, the natal coat will begin to fade to the reddish coat of the adult (Palmer et al. 1981). In a specific captive study, patas infants were observed to typically start eating solid food around the seventh week, exhibit play behavior in the eighth week, and bipedally scan at the third month. For the first several months, the predominant posture of an inactive mother with a young infant is that of cradling which starts to steadily decrease in the third month. This may assist the infant in its suckling posture and to keep it warm (Chism 1986). In a long term study, the mortality rate of infants and one year-old juveniles averaged 20% (Nakagawa et al. 2003).

COMMUNICATION

Patas vocalize infrequently and tend to move quietly (Chism & Rowell 1988). They are a relatively silent species with few physical cues that rely on visual communication to avoid agonistic interactions within groups (McNeilis & Boatright-Horowitz 1998). Visual contact serves to transfer information about important occurrences within the patas environment quickly through constant monitoring of not only the environment, but other patas within a group as well (Rowell & Olson 1983). Patas rely on an “adaptive silence” and prefer not to give away their locations to predators (Hall 1967). Patas exhibit a low frequency of contact calling between individuals which may be as a result of the open nature of their habitat which facilitates visual contact instead (Nakagawa 1992).

Patas alarm calls are the best documented of their vocalizations. These calls are directed to warn other patas of a threat and are uttered mainly in response to mammalian predators. There are various alarm calls which in many cases are predator specific however males only utter the “bark grunt” in response to all predators. This type of grunt is also vocalized by males in response to the approach of extra-group male patas (Enstam & Isbell 2002). Patas monkeys other than adult males exhibit several discrete alarm calls which they use to warn the group of danger. In response to jackals and wildcats, a “cough” alarm call is uttered. “Loud chutter” is the alarm call associated with baboons, domestic dogs, jackals and wildcats. A “nyow” alarm call is the response to baboons, domestic dogs and lions. Finally, a “quiet chudder” or a “gecker” are calls both associated with snakes and the “gecker” may also be used to warn of raptors (Enstam & Isbell 2002). Other types of vocalization used by patas monkeys are those used in allomothering interactions. These consist of the allomother’s “moo” and the infants’ “want” call. The infant’s “want” call serves to attract related, unrelated, and even unfamiliar allomothers. The allomother’s “moo” is typically uttered when approaching the infant to be allomothered (Nakagawa 1998).

Another type of possible communication is that of olfactory communication. In captivity, patas were observed to occasionally approach another individual and perform a discrete “nose to mouth” gesture with the ostensible purpose of ascertaining what the other individual had been eating (Rowell & Olson 1983).

One documented captive patas communicative display is that of the Grimace-Gecker in which the patas displays its teeth to another. Originally suggested to be a submissive/appeasement signal, this display has been argued not to convey such a message. Regardless, the display appears to be discrete and to serve some unknown communicative purpose (Jacobus & Loy 1981; Loy et al. 1993)

Content last modified: December 18, 2006

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Karin Enstam.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2006 December 18. Primate Factsheets: Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) Behavior . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/patas_monkey/behav>. Accessed 2020 July 15.

 

INTERNATIONAL STATUS

CONSERVATION STATUS

CITES: Appendix II (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: E. patas: LC (What is Red List?)
Key: LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Patas monkey adult
Erythrocebus patas

According to Oates (1996), patas were assigned to the lowest threat level among African primates and were considered to be a low risk species. Typically, primates that live in savanna and dry forest are less endangered due to expansive distributions (Oates 1996).

CONSERVATION THREATS

Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)

In areas where bushmeat has economic importance, patas monkeys are reported to be taken as such (Bowen-Jones & Pendry 1999). Due to their large numbers, this practice has not as of yet substantially affected their numbers. However, like any species taken for bushmeat, as human populations grow and the importance of bushmeat to local and national economies grows, the threat can only increase. Patas monkey remains can also be found in markets of traditional medicine in Nigeria and this use may represent another threat to their populations (Sodeinde & Soewu 1999).

Threat: Persecution

In East African areas where patas ranges abut cropland, patas monkeys occasionally participate in crop raiding and use their high speed to escape when spotted by farmers (Lee & Priston 2005). Crop raiding by patas may result in retaliatory killing and represents a conflict trend that will increase with additional human land use (see Chism 2005).

LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION

CONSERVATION INFORMATION

CONSERVATION NEWS

ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Erythrocebus patas CONSERVATION

Content last modified: December 18, 2006

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Karin Enstam.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2006 December 18. Primate Factsheets: Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/patas_monkey/cons>. Accessed 2020 July 15.

 

The following references were used in the writing of this factsheet. To find current references for Erythrocebus patas, search PrimateLit.

REFERENCES

Bercovitch F. 1996. Testicular function and scrotal coloration in patas monkeys. J Zool 239(1): 93-100.

Carlson A, Isbell L. 2001. Causes and consequences of single-male and multimale mating in free-ranging patas monkeys, Erythrocebus patas. Anim Behav 62(6): 1047-58.

Chism J. 1986. Development and mother-infant relations among captive patas monkeys. Int J Primatol 7(1): 49-81.

Patas monkey adult
Erythrocebus patas

Chism J. 1999. Decoding patas social organization. In: Dolhinow P, Fuentes A, editors. The NonHuman Primates. Mountain View (CA): Mayfield Pub Co. p 86-92.

Chism J. 2005. Round up the usual suspects: conflict between monkeys and farmers in Ghana and Kenya. In: Paterson JD, Wallis J, editors. Commensalism and conflict: the human-primate interface. Norman (OK): Am Soc Primatol. p 339-49.

Chism J, Olson D, Rowell TE. 1983. Diurnal births and perinatal behavior among wild patas monkeys: evidence of an adaptive pattern. Int J Primatol 4(2): 167-84.

Chism J, Rogers W. 1997. Male competition, mating success and female choice in a seasonally breeding primate (Erythrocebus patas). Ethology 103(2):109-26.

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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
Photo: Anne & Ron Carlson
Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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Erythrocebus patas
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