Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus
Miss Waldron’s red colobus (Piliocolobus badius waldronae) is a species of red colobus monkey native to West Africa. It has not been officially sighted since 1978 and was declared extinct in 2000. However, new evidence suggests that a very small number of these monkeys may be living in the southeast corner of Ivory Coast. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus as “Critically Endangered.”
Black fur covers the majority of Miss Waldron’s red colobus, but a distinctive pattern of bright red fur can be found on its forehead and thighs. An Old World monkey, it grows to a height of about 3 feet (1 meter). The head is small for its frame. No photograph of a living Miss Waldron’s red colobus is known to exist.
Miss Waldron’s red colobus lives in large family groups of 20 or more. They are social and highly vocal animals. They frequently communicate with each other via loud calls, shrieks and chattering. Their strategy for safety is based on having many eyes and ears.
Fruit, seeds and foliage provide the primary food source of Miss Waldron’s red colobus.
High-canopy forests in Ghana and near the Ivory Coast served as the exclusive habitat of Miss Waldron’s red colobus.
Miss Waldron’s red colobus is the first primate to be declared extinct in the 20th century. This suggests a larger problem of ape extinction. It was frequently (and illegally) poached for bush meat.
There is considerable debate in recent years over whether Miss Waldron’s red colobus is truly extinct.
This picture comes from the article “Requiem for a Primate” by John Tidwell, published in the September/October 2004 issue of ZooGoer, a publication of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.