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New Primate Discovered Image 4
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New Primate Discovered (Image 4)

July 26, 2010
Researchers have yet to fully agree on how to classify all mangabey species, while mangabeys as a whole face such threats as habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade. Because researchers do not have enough information on some animals to even assess how threatened they are, the least known may be the most at risk.

The newly discovered, and perhaps most critically endangered, highland mangabey is in the genus Lophocebus, as are two well-established mangabey species, Lophocebus albigena and Lophocebus aterrimus. Lophocebus is genetically linked to baboons and geladas. The mangabey genus Cercocebus is genetically linked to mandrills and includes the Sanje mangabey, one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, found in the same mountains as the newly discovered highland mangabey. Effective conservation may rest on this type of fundamental genetic and ecological research and the monitoring of biodiversity in some of the world's most threatened ecosystems.