Diana monkey in exhibit

Diana Monkey

Scientific Name

Cercopithecus diana

Geographic Range

West Africa

Diet

Fruits, flowers, leaves, insects, and invertebrates
Diana monkey in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: VULNERABLE IUCN Conservation Status: VULNERABLE

About This Animal

Diana monkeys are medium-sized primates with slender bodies, long legs, and long tails. Members of this species are distinctive because of their black faces and backs, white fronts and undersides, one white stripe along their outer thighs, and a reddish rump. Diana monkeys are named after the crescent-shaped band of white hair on their brow, which is said to resemble that of the Roman goddess Diana, protector of wildlife and woodlands.

In size, Diana monkeys are 16.5–24 inches long, with tails that can be up to 35 inches long; males are larger than females. These quadrupeds spend most of their time in trees, climbing through the canopies (they do not leap). They are noisy communicators, with an alarm call that alerts not just their own troops, but other species of monkeys.

These animals are social, living in groups of up to 20 monkeys. Their troops usually consist of one breeding adult male, multiple females, and their young. Breeding occurs seasonally, with one infant born at a time after a five-month gestation. Offspring inherit their mothers’ ranks in Diana monkey societies, and nurse for six months. Male offspring leave the troop, while females stay in their mothers’ groups their whole lives.

Diana monkey populations are fragmented and declining. Their habitats are being lost through deforestation, and they are also coveted by hunters.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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