L'hoest Monkey - Colchester Zoo, Colchester, Essex, England - Monday May 12th 2008.
L'Hoest's Monkey (Cercopithecus l'hoesti), or Mountain Monkey, is a guenon found in Cameroon and the Congo basin. There are two distinct populations and subspecies of this monkey which are widely separated in distribution. They mostly live in mountainous forest areas in small, female-dominated groups. They have a dark coat and can be distinguished by a characteristic white beard.
L'Hoest's Monkey is a member of the genus Cercopithecus, and closely resembles Hamlyn's Monkey in size and distribution. Recent studies have shown that the subspecies C. l'hoesti preussi on the west coast of Africa is distinct enough and has been elevated to a full species, Preuss's Monkey C. preussi. Together with the Sun-tailed Monkey, C. solatus, Preuss's and L'Hoest's make up a tight grouping within the Cercopithecus genus.
L'Hoest's Monkey is a forest monkey, which is typical of the moist and high primary forests. The western race is mostly relegated to mountainous regions, rain forests in an elevation above 1000 m, as well as old secondary and mature forests. It has also been found to inhabit isolated forest patches in mountain grasslands. The eastern population occurs in a wider number of habitats. It will occupy a range of different kinds of forested areas, including gallery forest, mature lowland rain forests, wooded savanna at mountain slopes, and forest borders. However, it also will live on cultivated lands. In lowland forests it shows a preference toward areas where the forest is regenerating, while in mountain areas it will frequent the mature, tangled, undergrowth below the broken canopy. One study found this population only above 900 m but another found it as low as 610 m (2000 ft). Another mostly observed it from 1500 to 2500 m. They make their homes in remarkable nests in trees.