Observing the complex interactions between these highly social animals is one of the highlights of a visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Vervet Monkeys are found in many parts of Africa. Vervet Monkeys have a number of predators including leopards, servals, caracals, crocodiles, baboons, pythons and large eagles. In human inhabited areas they are in danger from electricity pylons, vehicles, dogs, pellet guns, poison, and bullets and are trapped for traditional medicine, bush meat and for biomedical research.
Despite these dangers, Vervet Monkeys are not thought to be a species at risk. They are classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’).
While Vervet Monkeys are not under immediate threat there other primates such as gorillas that are on the brink of extinction. One of the biggest threats to primates in the wild is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral that is used in mobile phones and is found in gorilla habitat. By recycling mobile phones thruogh They're Calling on You you can help raise important funds for gorillas in the wild and give these phones a second life.
Vervet Monkeys are found in the northern and southern savannahs, ranging from Senegal to Sudan. There are about 20 sub-species in these areas. Their preferred habitat is acacia woodland along streams, rivers and lakes.
Males vary in size from 45–85cm and weigh between 3.5 and 7.5kg, while females range from 40–60cm in size and weigh between 2.5 and 5.5kg. Vervets are small and slender with a long tail. Both sexes have sharp canine teeth.
Vervet Monkeys eat a wide range of fruits, figs, leaves, seeds and flowers. They also eat birds’ eggs and young chicks, and insects (grasshoppers and termites). In human inhabited environments they will eat bread and various crops, especially maize.
Vervet society is built on complex but stable social groups (called troops) of 10 to 50 individuals: mainly adult females and their immature offspring. There is a strict social hierarchy among troop members: a mother’s social standing predetermines her offspring’s, and even adults in a family must submit to juveniles of families with higher social status.