Nairobi, April 30  (Swara) – Scientists warn that the Southern patas monkey, once thriving in Kenya and Tanzania’s savannahs, faces imminent extinction, marking a grim milestone for African primates.

Recent research by the Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program reveals a devastating decline in the semi-terrestrial primate’s population. Historically abundant in the Amboseli and Serengeti-Mara ecosystems, the species has dwindled to fewer than 100 adults, a staggering 85% decline since the early 20th century.

According to field biologist Tom Butynski and primatologist Yvonne de Jong, the Southern patas monkey vanished from Kenya around 2015 and was last sighted in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Region in 2011. It’s believed to be confined to the western section of Serengeti National Park and adjacent reserves.

The Southern patas monkey is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and among the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates. It faces myriad threats, including habitat degradation, competition for resources with humans and livestock, and hunting by poachers and domestic dogs.

With the species already extirpated from Kenya and teetering on the brink of extinction in Tanzania, urgent conservation measures are imperative to save this iconic primate from disappearing forever.