Scientifically referred to as Cerecpithecus ihoesti, The L’hoest Monkey can be identified by its short dark brown coat along with a chestnut color at the bark and stomach. It has light grey cheeks with a pale mustache.
These monkeys have a habitual and prestigious white color around their chest. They can grow up to 27 inches in body length where as its tail can grow up to 39 inches long.
A male L’hoest Monkey weighs about 6 kg, where as the females weigh about 3.5 kg. Its tail is quite long with a hook shape at the peak. L’hoest Monkeys are born with a full-coating around their body with their eyes wide open.
If you are looking at identifying these monkeys, just look for the qualities mentioned above.
L’hoest Monkeys are herbivores hence, survive much on fruits, herbs, roots, mushrooms and leaves. Only on a few occasions do they eat Lizards, small birds and eggs.
Where to find L’hoest Monkeys in Uganda
In Uganda, these primates are found in Maramagambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park in Fort Portal.
Besides Uganda, you can also find L’Hoest Monkeys in North Eastern DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. Its a forest monkey that survives in typical moist and elevated primary forests.
It usually occupies various kinds of forested areas like gallery forests, large lowland rain forests, wooded Savannah at mountainous slopes and borders of forests.
Occasionally, they also live on cultivated lands. When it comes to lowland forests, it prefers to stay in areas where the forest is regrowing.
These monkeys make their homes in well built nests in trees.
These monkeys live in small groups majorly made up of females. In most cases, they only have 1 male in the group. The females are related where as the male stays only from a couple of weeks to years.
An adult male often makes very loud calls to communicate to the rest. They are mostly active during day time; early morning till early evening in particular.
They sleep while sitting on trees while holding each other or tree branches for support. When they sense any unusual activity, they quickly flee and take cover in trees. This makes it hard to spot them.
The breeding of L’hoest Monkeys is seasonal. The timing will solely depend on the area they are in. Their gestation period lasts for only five months.
Females often give birth at night from anywhere in the forest. This usually happens right at the end of the dry season. When the rainy season begins, lactation becomes much easier for the mother. She eats the placenta and licks the baby clean whilst it hangs on to her stomach.
So much interest will be shown to the new born but as time goes on, the care becomes less though it goes on till the baby turns two years.
The males often leave their birth groups when they clock sexual maturity. They will go and join other groups.
L’hoest Monkeys can live up to 30 years.