Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus pygerythrus)

Conservation Status

Least Concern (LC)

Physical Description

Typical monkey appearance; Grey hair on head, back and flanks; Black face with white rim; Long tail; Males have disticn blue coloured testicles
Weight 4.0 - 5.5 kg
Size body length of 95 - 130 cm; tail length of 48 - 75 cm
Lifespan (wild) 15 - 17 years
Lifespan (captivity) +- 24 years


Completely diurnal, sleep at night in trees ore rarely on cliffs; forage well-defined homerange, spending much time on the ground; frequently raid crops and gardens – in consequence heavily persecuted

Social and Reproduction

Live in troops up to +-40 or more, but groups are often smaller; Hierarchy is well established in the group

Mating System Polygamy (Polgyny)
Breeding interval Once a year
Breeding season Young may be born at any time of the year but in some areas there seems to be a birth peak
Gestation +-165 days
Number of offspring Usually a single young is produced, rarely twins

Habitat and Food


This is a monkey of savanna and riverine woodland, being generally absent from open grasland and open scrub, except marginally


Predominantly vegetarian, but also eat a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates, for example nesting birds, eggs, chicks


Mammalian carnivores, eagles, baboons and reptiles (snakes and crocodiles)

Conservation Challenges

Habitat loss; targeted by humans for medicinal values (some cultures)

Naankuse Solutions

Education!! Rehabilitation


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Vervet Monkey at Naankuse sites