Although rarely seen, the silver monkeys can be spotted within Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park, known as the Primate Capital of the World. This national park is a haven to more than 16 species of primates you will ever desire to encounter on a safari in Uganda so that you can enjoy a lifetime experience.
Silver monkeys are scientifically known as Cercopithecus doggetti, and are species of the Old World monkeys commonly sighted in some African countries, areas of India, Central to Southern Asia and Japan and mainly occupy Savannah, Mountains, Islands and Steppes depending on their species. They are also common within East Africa and in Uganda, you are likely to encounter them within Kibale Forest National Park during nature walks.
They were previously considered to be sub-species of the Blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) until recently when they were conformed to be different species. It is for this reason that most people still confuse these two different species.
Silver monkeys are generally diurnal, live in trees and like majority of their cousins in the Cercopithecidae family, these monkeys stay in groups with one dominant Alpha male with a female and infants. In most cases, grooming contributes to bonding between female adults and offsprings.
Funnily, it’s the females that initiate mating with male silver monkeys and their gestation period is 5 months after which a single offspring is born. These primates breed throughout the year and their infants are weaned after 6 months. Both male and female silver monkeys interestingly reach sexual maturity at the same time, which is 3 years.
Their lifespan is from 20 to 25 years, and males like the female silver monkeys reach sexual maturity at three years of age.
These primates are naturally folivorous and frugivorous with their diet comprising of mainly leaves and fruits as well as small insects that they occasionally consume during time of scarcity. Due to their frugivory nature, silver monkeys are said to have contributed a lot to seed dispersal in the forests where they live.
Silver monkeys are characterized by narrow noses and septum, hard patches of bare skin on their buttocks, bony sear passages, two large pre-molars within each half of the jaws as well as close-set of nostrils that are directed forward or down. Not only that, these monkeys have cheek pouches.
Besides Uganda, silver monkeys can be spotted within the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi.
Just like most forest-dwelling monkeys, silver monkeys are always threatened by a number of predators such as Birds of prey, large snakes as well as Leopards that are deniably their main threat. It is for this reason that they are said to have a positive impact on the predator populations.
Therefore, Silver monkeys are one of the numerous primate species you are likely to encounter when you visit Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. A safari to the Primate Capital of the World (Kibale Forest National Park) will introduce you to other primates such as Chimpanzees, grey cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys as well as the Dent’s Mona monkeys among others.