Golden Monkeys Facts, Lifespan, Diet, Habitats & Photos

Golden Monkeys: Facts, Lifespan, Diet, Habitats, Videos & Photos – The top flanks and back of the golden monkey are covered in a golden-orange patch, making it an understudied but easily recognized primate. It is an Old World monkey that is unique to Central Africa. The Golden monkey was once thought of as a subspecies of the Blue monkey and was not classified as a distinct species. These two monkeys are actually very similar and closely related to one another. The distribution of Cercopithecus species has been fragmented as a result of the continual partition of forests, and many species have lived in isolated groups where they have adapted to the local environment.

Golden Monkeys in Uganda

The Golden monkey has separated from the Blue monkey as a result. One of the eight subspecies of the blue monkey is this endangered species. The golden monkey’s females have paler coloring and fewer weathered brown spots. However, because of a scarcity of observations, there is very little knowledge of the ecology and behavior of this species.

Appearance of Golden Monkeys

An understudied primate with a striking golden-orange patch on its back and upper flanks is the golden monkey. Originating in Central Africa, this primate is considered an Old World monkey. Historically, the Golden monkey was thought of as a subspecies of the Blue monkey rather than a distinct species in its own right. Both monkeys share many characteristics and are actually quite related. Cercopithecus species have adapted to their local environments in small, isolated populations caused by the fragmentation of their habitat caused by the continual divisions of forests. This caused the Golden monkey to split off from its Blue monkey ancestry. There are eight subspecies of blue monkeys, and this one is among the most vulnerable. Less weathered brown patches and lighter coloring are characteristics of female golden monkeys. Unfortunately, due to a lack of observations, very little is known about the ecology and behavior of this species.


Golden monkeys are found only in four national parks in Central Africa’s Virunga volcanic mountains: Mgahinga in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes in north-west Rwanda, Virunga itself, and Kahuzi-Biéga in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. This species thrives in mountain forests that provide an abundance of fruits and bamboo.

SUBCONTINENTS: Sub-Saharan Africa
COUNTRIES: Angola, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
WWF BIOMES: Tropical moist forests, Tropical savanna

Habits and Lifestyle

Rwanda – Golden monkeys under threat

As sociable primates, golden monkeys often congregate in groups of thirty to eighty members. A lone adult male controls each of these groups. Group size changes with altitude; typically, smaller groups are seen at higher elevations. Males often only stay with the group for a short period of time before departing, but females are always there to protect the territory. During the day, these monkeys are seen in trees. The apexes of bamboo plants serve as their nesting places. As a general rule, golden monkeys sleep in groups of no more than four. Because feeding grounds are often located near where animals sleep, many creatures make the journey to forage every day.

These primates rely on facial expressions and a variety of vocalizations as their main means of communication. Males employ some of these calls when protecting their territory or engaging in aggressive fights. The females of this species communicate with one another and the community through a variety of cries that serve to both unite and warn of danger. Subadults, meanwhile, may make specific noises in addition to their mobbing behavior. Furthermore, young people could show their submission by making noises.

Diet and Nutrition

The golden monkey is mostly a herbivore, although it will also eat fruits, flowers, shrubs, and invertebrates like lepidopterous larvae that lay their eggs on leaves. Other types of plants that it will eat include bamboo, bamboo shoots, branchlets, fruits, and flowers.

DIET: Herbivore, Folivore, Frugivore

Mating Habits

The mating strategy of golden monkeys is largely unknown. But since there is usually just one male in a group of female Golden monkeys, their mating behavior could be polygynous or polygynandrous (promiscuous). Mating is initiated by females, although the male mates with all the females in the group. Primate mating seasons vary. One baby is born at the end of the five-month gestation period. At the two-year mark, the female gives birth. A newborn infant has reached full maturation. Complete with fur and eyes wide open, it is ready to go. The mother breastfeeds her infant for the first several months. The mother stops having babies altogether and reduces her nursing efforts towards the conclusion of this phase. The baby will depart from its natal group once it reaches sexual maturity.

FEMALE NAME: 2 years
BABY NAME: infant


Population threats

Humans are mostly to blame for the dangers that this species faces. Because of this, golden monkeys are frequently entangled in snares and their habitat is disturbed. Illegal cutting down of bamboo forests also poses a hazard to these species.

Population number

The total population of golden monkeys is not provided by the IUCN Red List or any other source. Having said that, the IUCN Red List has this animal listed as Endangered (EN) due to the fact that its numbers are currently declining.

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