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Primate Special - Golden Monkey Research in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park


Golden Monkey in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Golden Monkey in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

We started a research program in July 2009 in Mgahinga National Park on the Golden Monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis kandti). This is also home to other species such as the Mountain Gorillas and Forest Elephant.

The research group is between 25-30 strong and we are looking at their home range, their eating patterns whether they are seasonal, their movement patterns, social behaviour and hierarchy and also the effects of tourism and local population. We are working with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in which the research also involves determining the status and ecology of the golden monkeys.

Very little is known about this primate, it is endemic to the Virunga volcanoes and is an endangered species. The work is important to its survival and protection of its habitat.

We are currently looking for self-funded volunteers to assist us with this research. The work will involve collecting data, analysing the information and making reports.

We are particularly looking for zoologists and botanists. Also people with particular skills and abilities to help us carry out this work.

We are looking for volunteers who wish to stay for at least 3 months and longer.

The park is also home to other mammals such as buffalo and wild cats. There is a large diversity of bird, reptile, insect and plant species.

We have a campsite at the entrance of the park that will provide accomodation for volunteers. Volunteers have the choice to stay in our bandas or pitch their own tents. At the campsite we have a restaurant and bar. The campsite has basic washing and toilet facilities. There is no electricity at the moment so kerosene lamps are used. It can be a tough environment, being a rainforest and at altitude. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking and a popular destination for visitors from around the world. Volunteers will live and work closely with the local communities and so gain an interesting insight into their way of life and culture.

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