Speed Bumps Are Saving Endangered African Monkeys

Speed bumps might be annoying when they slow down your drive, but taking a little longer on the road might be better in the long term, especially for these endangered Zanzibar red colobus. These monkeys are known to be one of Africa’s rarest primates. The Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park on the Zanzibar archipelago installed four new speed bumps, and the number of colobus deaths decreased dramatically. 

"Cars are not selective in the animals they kill," said primatologist Alexander Georgiev, director of the Zanzibar Red Colobus Project and author of the study. "This means that while natural predators may target the very young and old more often, cars are equally likely to kill reproductively active young adults, who would contribute the most to population growth. And this may be a problem."

Prior to these speed bumps, 12% to 17% of all colobus monkeys were lost to vehicular-related death every year. Now, that number has decreased to about one every six weeks. Certainly not a perfect number, but better than it used to be. Taxis and tourists alike both needed to keep a closer eye on where they were driving. Who knew conservation could be so simple?

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