With fewer than 6,000 of Zanzibar’s iconic red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) left in the world, there’s much about their well-being that worries scientists. Near the top of that list: their road sense. Or the lack of it, as evidenced by videos captured by primatologists showing them sauntering across a road amid heavy traffic, scurrying up to cars, or just parking themselves in the middle of all the action. “We know from studies in chimpanzees in Uganda and Guinea that they show some kind of awareness of the road, but the colobus they look kind of oblivious,” said Alexander V. Georgiev, an ecologist at Bangor University in the U.K. and co-author of a recent study in the conservation journal Oryx. “They don’t differ in the way that they cross the big road where they are likely to get hit versus the small dirt road where there is hardly any traffic.” With no larger animals to prey on red colobus monkeys, getting hit by vehicles has become a leading cause of death for the endangered primates, research from Zanzibar’s Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park shows. Cars, motorcycles, trucks and shared taxis called dala dala all whiz past on the paved road that intersects the national park. One of the solutions the new research confirmed is simple: speed bumps. These monkeys are endemic to Unguja, the main island of Zanzibar, an autonomous region of Tanzania. Their habitat has shrunk over the years, from covering the entire island of 2,460 square kilometers (950…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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