One of the goals of our work in Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve is to provide opportunities for South African students to learn about their country’s wildlife. Thanks to a grant from the International Primate Protection League, we were able to bring Piwe Ludidi up from Mthatha (about 20 hours by bus!) to work with us in the reserve for 3 weeks. Piwe fell in love with the samango monkeys and had no trouble camping in almost-freezing weather.
We are currently conducting a samango monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) survey in Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve. Lekgalameetse and the adjacent Wolkberg Wilderness Area together comprise one of the largest tracts of wilderness in South Africa. Blocks of Afromontane forest within the reserve are critical habitat for the samango monkey since the species is restricted to forested areas. Lekgalameetse is therefore an important site for samango monkey conservation. Our goals are to assess the size and health of the samango monkey population, to determine how human activity in the reserve impacts their survival, and to teach South African students about their country’s wildlife.