Physical Characteristics Males are much larger than females, weighing 80 to 110 pounds. (Females tip the scales at a considerably smaller 30 to 40 pounds.) Males have canine teeth that rival those of big cats in length (1.5 to 2 inches long). These teeth are used for dominance displays rather than for eating.
- Drills live in family troops of 20 or more animals. Troops are led by a dominant male, who retains his status until successfully challenged by another male.
- Unlike great apes, drills do not walk on their knuckles, using the flat surfaces of their feet and hands instead.
30 years. Females are sexually mature at 4 to 5 years; males, 5 to 7 years.
According to a Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program study conducted in Equatorial Guinea they note that as Malabo (Capital City) becomes more prosperous, demand for bush meat has increased and as a result the prices for have increased considerably and enticing more local people to hunt wildlife for profit.
Since 1997, Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) conducted a survey of animals for sale at the Malabo bush meat market. They visited the local market six days a week, recording the species, sex, approximate age (infant, juvenile, adult), source, method of capture (gun, dog, snare, by hand), condition (live, freshly killed, dried) and sale price of each animal.
By mid-2005, a total of 93 months of bush meat market information had been collected. Unfortunately, after declining for the first five years of the survey, the rate of monkey harvest on Bioko Island increased abruptly in 2002, and now appears to have increased again in 2005. A number of factors probably contributed to this increase:
- Increased Profitability: Bush meat prices are rapidly increasing, making hunting more profitable, even when hunters must travel greater distances.
- Increased Demand: Bush meat buyers have benefited from Equatorial Guinea’s rapidly rising GDP (resulting from the development of offshore petroleum reserves) and have money to spend on bush meat, even at higher prices. Monkeys are definitely a luxury meat.
- Mardi Gras Effect: Shotgun hunting on Bioko Island is thought to be controlled by government officials who profit from bush meat hunting. Inside sources reported alarm among these officials in anticipation of an enforced ban on the illegal shotgun hunting, especially of primates, in protected areas, initially as a result of the 2002 Bioko Biodiversity Round table and more recently, the National Biodiversity Policy for Equatorial Guinea, as proposed by Conservation International as part of their role in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership.
BUSH MEAT AT THE BIOKO MARKET IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program
The Endangered Mandrillus Leucophaeus: Behaviour Leading Towards Extinction by Kevin Meckes