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General News of Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Source: GNA

Red Colobus monkey almost extinct in Ghana

Takoradi, Jan. 25, GNA - The Red Colobus monkey is almost extinct in th= e country due to destruction of their natural habitat and hunting. Mrs Exorm Ametorelo Erskine, an Assistant Wildlife Officer at the Western Regional Office of the WildLife Division, told the Ghana News Agenc= y on Tuesday that these monkeys used to be in rainforests at Bia and other protected areas in the country but there had been no sign of them for years= ..

Mrs Erskine said the Red Colobus monkey dwelt on tall and big trees which had not been cut down some people hunt the monkeys and illegally export them. She said majority of monkeys help in the dispersal of forest trees. For instance, the Red Colobus eat the fruits of tall trees and drop the seeds somewhere to germinate.

Mrs Erskine said some animals like the elephant also help in the germination of some forest trees.

"If the seeds of such trees do not pass through the digestive system of the elephant, germination is not possible", Mrs Erskine said. She said other endangered animals which are completely protected are Diana Monkey, chimpanzee, Bossman's Potto, Long Tail Pangolin, Bush Baby and lion.

Mrs Erskine said pythons eat animals such as rat, mice, grass cutter, birds and others which destroy crops and therefore help to keep the population of these animals in check. She said, 93All wild animals, be it big or small, has a task to perfor= m in the environment and not being aware of their specific function does not mean they are useless," she said.