Cercopithecus campbelliCampbell's monkey

Geographic Range

Campbell's monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli) are native to the Ethiopian region, in the coastal area of western Africa. Their known range extends as far northwest as Banjul, the Gambia, and as far southwest as Cotê D'Ivoire. Campbell's monkeys occupy the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau (including the island of Caravela), and Senegal. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020)


Campbell's monkeys live in terrestrial environments, such as lowlands and gallery forests, which are forested riparian corridors in an otherwise open landscape (e.g., savannas, grasslands). Campbell's monkeys also inhabit shrublands, mangroves, woodlands, and savannas. As arboreal primates, Campbell's monkeys live in the understory and shrub layers of forests. Campbell's monkeys live at elevations from 0 to 600m above sea level. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Zuberbuhler, 2001)

  • Range elevation
    0 to 600 m
    0.00 to 1968.50 ft

Physical Description

Campbell's monkeys have brownish grey dorsal fur and tawny-brown ventral fur. They have white eyebrows, and their faces are dark grey to bluish-black from their foreheads to just below their eyes. They have round, furry cheeks and ears that are yellowish-white. Campbell's monkeys have pink noses and white whiskers. They have long, thin tails that are dark grey or black.

Female Campbell's monkeys are smaller than males on average. Females range from 360 to 430 mm in length and 2.0 to 4.5 kg in weight. The tails of females are 580 to 680 mm long. Males range from 420 to 550 mm in length and 3.2 to 5.5 kg in weight. Their tails are 490 to 850 mm long.

Apart from differences in size, male and female Campbell's monkeys look alike. Juveniles tend to have pinker faces with pelage that is more consistently grey. (Kingdon, 2013)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • Range mass
    2.0 to 5.5 kg
    4.41 to 12.11 lb
  • Range length
    360 to 550 mm
    14.17 to 21.65 in


Campbell's monkeys are polygynous. They live in troops with one dominant male that mates with multiple females. Male Campbell's monkeys attract females by emitting low-pitched barks and females respond with high-pitched whistles and calls. This acoustic communication helps Campbell's monkeys locate each other in forested environments. Once a sexually active male and female meet, the male places its hand on the rump of the female, and the female decides whether to permit copulation. Mating behaviors do not affect social structures, as the males protect all the females in the troop equally. Campbell's monkeys mate year-round, but the highest rates of pregnancy occur in June and July. (Kingdon, 2013)

Campbell's monkeys breed year-round, but mating rates are highest in June and July. Breeding intervals of females have not been reported. With a 25-week gestation period, most juveniles are born in December or January. Females give birth to a single offspring. Twins have never been reported in Campbell's monkeys. Birth weights for Campbell's monkeys can range between 0.324 and 0.540 kg. For all members of the genus Cercopithecus, birth weights of juveniles are between 9% and 15% of the body weight of mothers.

Juvenile Campbell's monkeys are usually weaned after one year. Females reach sexual maturity after 3 years, but age of maturity is unreported for males. If an incoming male outcompetes and replaces a dominant male, it also kills any unweaned juveniles to minimize male-to-male competition. (Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, 1988; Kingdon, 2013; Nakamichi and Yamada, 2009)

  • Breeding season
    June - July but can be year-round
  • Average number of offspring
  • Average gestation period
    25 weeks
  • Average weaning age
    12 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    3 years

Female Campbell's monkeys provide all direct parental care for juveniles, nursing them and helping them gather food for 1 year. Females also teach their young how to use their tails and interpret social calls. Juveniles are weaned for a year and become fully independent after 3 years. They usually leave the troop once they become independent. Dominant males protect their young indirectly until independence by giving off warning calls for predators and calls for food nearby. (Lemasson, et al., 2003; Smuts and Gubernick, 2017)

  • Parental Investment
  • female parental care
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • extended period of juvenile learning


The average lifespan of Campbell's monkeys in captivity or in the wild is not reported. However, Lowe's monkeys (Cercopithecus lowei) are closely related and have a reported captive lifespan of 30 years. The black market trade of bushmeat typically limits the lifespan of adults, because adults are sold for higher prices. The lifespans of juveniles are predominantly limited by predation. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Weigl, 2005)


Campbell's monkeys are arboreal and social, living in large groups that can range from 9 to 14 members. There is typically one adult male in the group and the rest are females or juveniles. There are reports of groups that have multiple males or are only males, but these instances are rare. During the day, Campbell's monkeys spend their time grooming each other, vocalizing about predators, foraging, and play fighting with other species. They groom other Campbell's monkeys in their troop, but also western red colobuses (Piliocolobus badius), and olive colobuses (Procolobus verus). It is estimated that Campbell's monkeys spend 7% of their time socializing with conspecifics and other species. They vocalize to their fellow troop members when potential predators are near. They spend 46% of their time running and jumping, and 28% of their time foraging for food and eating.

Campbell's monkeys are not known to migrate.

Campbell's monkeys communicate with other species that share their habitat, including Diana monkeys (Cercopithecus diana). Campbell's monkeys relay messages about predators to Diana monkeys to help protect their groups. When they are with Diana monkeys, they will move out of the lower forest strata and into the middle strata.

Campbell's monkeys can use the more exposed parts of the forest. They distance themselves from other members of their troop and vocalize to stay in touch. The presence of Campbell's monkeys cause Diana monkeys to be less vigilant about predators. Diana monkeys also spend more time foraging when Campbell's monkeys are present. The two species have a mutually beneficial relationship with each other. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Wolters and Zuberbuhler, 2003; Zausa, et al., 2018)

Home Range

One troop of Campbell's monkeys has an estimated home range of 40 ha to 67 ha. There are no known reports of territory size, but Campbell's monkeys often get into territorial disputes with Diana monkeys (Cercopithecus diana). Other territorial disputes often involve other species of the genus Cercopithicus. (Kingdon, 2013; Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020)

Communication and Perception

Campbell's monkeys use different calls to communicate with the other members of their troop. Communication often involves the presence of predators, food, or other important environmental cues. The calls of individual Campbell's monkeys differ in tone, with some being able to produce sounds others can not. Calls range in both volume and acoustic characteristics. Adult males typically make warning calls about predators. They are able to understand calls given by the members of their group. Campbell's monkeys have a high level of visual and acoustic perception.

Campbell's monkeys are able to respond to the calls of conspecifics. Upon hearing a predator call, adult males run towards the call, while the females and juveniles do not approach. Campbell's monkeys groom each other. Females perform most if not all of the grooming for juveniles. Mating occurs through tactile and pheromone exchanges in which a male places its hand on the rump of a female, and that female decides whether or not to mate. Female Campbell's monkeys release pheromones to let males know that they are ready to mate. (Curtis, et al., 1971; Lemasson and Hausberger, 2004; Nowak, 1999; Zuberbuhler, 2001)

Food Habits

Campbell's monkeys primarily consume fruits, leaves, seeds and grains. On occasion, they eat young birds, bird eggs, small reptiles, and insects. In the Tai Forest, one of primary locations for Campbell's monkeys, it was reported that fruits composed 46% of their diet. Adult males eat more fruit than females, and females eat more foliage and animal matter. Juveniles eat more animal matter and fruit and very little foliage.

Campbell's monkeys have cheek pockets in which they store food. They carry food in pockets in their cheeks to a location they deem safe from predators. Campbell's monkeys have distended cheek pockets, but the level of distension in juveniles is smaller than in adults. (Buzzard, 2006; Nowak, 1999)

  • Animal Foods
  • birds
  • reptiles
  • eggs
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • leaves
  • seeds, grains, and nuts
  • fruit


Campbell's monkeys have predator-specific calls that they use to warn nearby troops that predators are around. Adult males call, signaling for females and juveniles to hide while other adult males in the area run towards the threat. Calls differ among predators by specific variances in tone and pitch.

Known predators of Campbell's monkeys include humans (Homo sapiens), leopards (Panthera pardus), western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and crowned hawk-eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus). Humans pose the largest threat to Campbell's monkeys, due largely to the trade of bush meat in western Africa. (Zuberbuhler, 2001)

Ecosystem Roles

Campbell's monkeys eat seeds, fruits, leaves, and grains, as well as bird and reptile eggs and insects. They are eaten by humans (Homo sapiens), leopards (Panthera pardus), western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and crowned hawk-eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus).

Campbell's monkeys serve as hosts for the following protozoan parasites: heterkonts (Blastocystis), ciliates (Balantidium coli), anaerobic protozoans (Giardia and Chilomastix mesnili), and amoebozoans (Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, Entamoeba hartmanni, Endolimax nana, Iodamoeba butschlii). Roundworm parasites include whipworms (Trichuris), false hookworms (Ternidens), and unknown roundworms in the family Capillariidae. Additional nematodes include Strongyloides stercoralis and those in the genera Oesophagostomum, Ancylostoma, Subulura, and Trichostrongylus. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Roland, et al., 2015)

Commensal/Parasitic Species
  • heterkont (Blastocystis)
  • phylum Metamonada (Giardia)
  • amoebozoan (Entamoeba coli),
  • amoebozoan (Entamoeba histolytica)
  • amoebozoan (Entamoeba dispar),
  • amoebozoan (Entamoeba hartmanni)
  • amoebozoan (Endolimax nana)
  • amoebozoan (Iodamoeba butschlii)
  • phylum Metamonada (Chilomastix mesnili)
  • ciliates (Balantidium coli)
  • roundworms (Oesophagostomum)
  • roundworms (Ancylostoma)
  • unknown roundworms in family Capillariidae
  • roundworms (Trichostrongylus)
  • whipworms (Trichuris)
  • false hookworms (Ternidens)
  • roundworms (Subulura)
  • roundworms (Strongyloides stercoralis)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Campbell's monkeys benefit humans by providing a source of food. In coastal Africa, they are part of the bushmeat trade. They are hunted throughout their geographic range. A study in 2003 found that approximately 8,953 kg of bushmeat was consumed around the Tai National Park, an area with a large population of Campbell's monkeys. Bushmeat from Campbell's monkeys ranges in price from 5,000 CFA ($8.80 USD) for large males in Cote d'Ivoire to 2,000 CFA ($3.60 USD) for several pieces of bushmeat in Bissau. Campbell's monkeys weighing less than 3.6kg were sold for 3,000 CFA ($5.30 USD) in southwest Cote d'Ivoire. (Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Refisch and Kone, 2005)

  • Positive Impacts
  • food

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Campbell's monkeys are a zoonotic vector of yellow fever, which is known to infect humans. Furthermore, human contact with Campbell's monkeys is likely. Campbell's monkeys live in the lower strata of the forest and sometimes spend time on the forest floor or close to villages. (Kingdon, 2013)

Conservation Status

Campbell's monkeys are listed as "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List. They are included in the CITES Appendix II, where trade regulations have been listed, such as an international trade export permit. Campbell's monkeys are also listed in Class B of the African Convention of the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. They have no special status on the United States Endangered Species Act list or the State of Michigan list.

The bushmeat trade in Africa plays a large role in the status of Campbell's monkeys. Due to domesticated meat being a rarity, many people rely on bushmeat as their major source of protein. In 2020, Campbell's monkeys were "uplisted" from Least Concern to Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Increasing pressure from hunters and the growing African population has caused Campbell's monkey populations to decline. They live in close proximity to villages, and as villages grow in size, the amount of suitable habitat for Campbell's monkeys shrinks. Within their geographic range, an estimated 30% of suitable habitats are lost or degraded. They are able to live in farm brush near human populations, but increasing pressure from bushmeat hunting puts them at greater risk in those areas. Despite declines in number by less than 30% over the past 36 years, the rate of decline is expected to rise rapidly with the decline in accessibility of larger primates in bushmeat trade, and as the human population increases. Campbell's monkeys also hybridize with mona monkeys (Cercopithecus mona).

There are many conservation efforts in place for all monkey species in Africa. Campbell's monkeys have populations located in many nationals parks such as Gola National Park, Loma National Park, Grebo National Park, and Sabo National Park. They are also present at an island in Liberia, named Tiwai, which is conserved for wildlife. In the Tai National Park, there is a side where poaching is overlooked and a side where poaching is not allowed. The population density of Campbell's monkeys is larger on the non-poaching side. Poaching is illegal, but many poachers are not honest about the location from which they obtained the meat, so it is very hard to track and enforce. There are also many anti-poaching efforts in Sabo National Park. (Kingdon, 2013; Matsuda Goodwin, et al., 2020; Refisch and Kone, 2005)


Kaitlynn Leinberger (author), Radford University, Sierra Felty (editor), Radford University, Bianca Plowman (editor), Radford University, Karen Powers (editor), Radford University, Victoria Raulerson (editor), Radford University, Christopher Wozniak (editor), Radford University, Genevieve Barnett (editor), Colorado State University.



living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

World Map


uses sound to communicate


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

causes disease in humans

an animal which directly causes disease in humans. For example, diseases caused by infection of filarial nematodes (elephantiasis and river blindness).


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


union of egg and spermatozoan


an animal that mainly eats leaves.


A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


an animal that mainly eats fruit


an animal that mainly eats seeds


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


having more than one female as a mate at one time


Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


remains in the same area


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


uses touch to communicate


Living on the ground.


defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


uses sight to communicate


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.


Buzzard, P., W. Eckhardt. 2009. Monkeys of the Tai Forest. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Buzzard, P. 2006. Cheek pouch use in relation to interspecific competition and predator risk for three guenon monkeys (Cercopithecus spp.). Primates, 47/4: 336-341.

Buzzard, P. 2006. Ecological partitioning of Cercopithecus campbelli, C. petaurista, and C. diana in the Taï Forest. International Journal of Primatology, 27/2: 529-558.

Buzzard, P. 2006. Ranging patterns in relation to seasonality and frugivory among Cercopithecus campbelli, C. petaurista, and C. diana in the Taï Forest. International Journal of Primatology, 27/2: 559-573.

Cords, M. 1986. Primate Societies. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Curtis, R., J. Ballantine, E. Keverne, R. Bonsall, R. Michael. 1971. Biological sciences: Identification of primate sexual pheromones and the properties of synthetic attractants. Nature, 232: 396-398. Accessed April 12, 2022 at https://doi.org/10.1038/232396a0.

Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M. 1988. Adaptive significance of infanticide in primates. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 3/5: 102-105.

Kingdon, J. 2013. Mammals of Africa. Volume 2, Primates. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Lemasson, A., M. Hausberger. 2004. Patterns of vocal sharing and social dynamics in a captive group of Campbell's monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli campbelli). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 118/3: 347-359.

Lemasson, A., J. Gautier, M. Hausberger. 2003. Vocal similarities and social bonds in Campbell's monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli). Comptes Rendus Biologies, 326/12: 1185-1193.

Matsuda Goodwin, R., B. Gonedele BiS, I. Kone. 2020. "Cercopithecus campbelli" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T136930A92374066. Accessed January 30, 2022 at https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T136930A92374066.en.

McGraw, W. 1998. Comparative locomotion and habitat use of six monkeys in the Tai Forest, Ivory Coast. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 105/4: 493-510.

Nakamichi, M., K. Yamada. 2009. Distribution of dorsal carriage among simians. Primates, 50: 153/168.

Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th Edition: Volume 1. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Nowak, R., E. Walker. 1999. Walker's Primates of the World. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Refisch, J., I. Kone. 2005. Market hunting in the Tai region, Cote d’Ivoire and implications for monkey populations. International Journal of Primatology, 26/3: 621-629.

Roland, Y., S. McGraw, P. Kouassi Yao, A. Abou-Bacar, J. Brunet, B. Pesson, B. Bonfoh, E. Kouakou N'goran, E. Candolfi. 2015. Diversity and prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in seven non-human primates of the Tai National Park, Cote d’Ivoire. Parasite, 22/1: 1-8.

Smuts, B., D. Gubernick. 2017. Male-infant relations in nonhuman primates: Paternal investment or mating effort?. Pp. 1-23 in B Hewlett, ed. Father-Child Relations: Cultural and Biosocial Contexts, 3rd Edition. England, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Tosi, A., K. Detwiler. 2016. The efficacy of sex-chromosomal markers in studies of Cercopithecus hybridization: Discovery of a captive hybrid and applications in wild populations. Zoo Biology, 35/1: 61-64.

Weigl, R. 2005. Longevity of Mammals in Captivity; from the Living Collections of the World. Stuttgart, Germany: Kleine Senckenberg-Reihe.

Wolters, S., K. Zuberbuhler. 2003. Mixed-species associations of Diana and Campbell's monkeys: The costs and benefits of a forest phenomenon. Behaviour, 140/3: 371-385.

Zausa, D., I. Kone, K. Ouattara. 2018. The optimal foraging strategy used by Campbell’s monkeys, Cercopithecus campbelli, in the dry season in the Taï National Park (Côte d’Ivoire). International Journal of Research in BioSciences, 7/4: 8-20.

Zuberbuhler, K. 2001. Predator-specific alarm calls in Campbell's monkey, Cercopithecus campbelli. Behavioral Ecology and Sociology, 50/5: 414-422.