Vervet monkeys are distributed throughout Africa. There are 6 known species within the genus Chlorocebus. The Dania Beach vervet monkeys show phenotypic traits of the species sabaeus. This West African vervet monkey is typified by a long golden tipped tail and golden-green hair. The males have a pale blue scrotum. Chlorocebus sabaeus is distributed from Senegal to the Volta River. Monkeys have been introduced to Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, and Barbados through the slave trade in the 1600’s. In Africa and the Caribbean, the vervet monkey is considered a pest primate. Often the monkeys are poisoned or shot by the locals due to crop raiding and property damage. However, in Dania Beach, the monkeys are a treasured primate of the community and fiercely protected.
The Dania Beach Vervet Project was started by Ph.D. Deborah (Missy) Williams, in January of 2014. The project is housed in the primate lab at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Williams (Missy) is collecting non-invasive behavioral, ecological, genetic, and ethnoprimatological data. Her field assistant, Cheryl Ruiz, is a biology major at Broward College. Cheryl plans to study the Dania Beach vervet population for her future graduate research.
If you are lucky enough to encounter a monkey, please take a photo and enjoy. Please DO NOT feed as it is actually harmful. Feeding the monkeys increases habituation to people (not everyone is a nice person), causes aggression between monkeys competing for food items, and it alters their natural behavior and biology. Report a sighting here:
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