Observing the complex interactions between these highly social animals is one of the highlights of a visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Vervet Monkeys are found in many parts of Africa. Vervet Monkeys have a number of predators including leopards, servals, caracals, crocodiles, baboons, pythons and large eagles. In human inhabited areas they are in danger from electricity pylons, vehicles, dogs, pellet guns, poison, and bullets and are trapped for traditional medicine, bush meat and for biomedical research. Despite these dangers, Vervet Monkeys are not thought to be a species at risk. They are classed as ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’).
Your visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo helps to fight species extinction. Visiting the Vervet Monkeys is an opportunity not only to see these fascinating animals at close range, but also to learn about the threats to many African species, what the international community is doing to try to conserve these species, and how Zoos Victoria is contributing to the fight.
Vervet Monkeys are found in the northern and southern savannahs, ranging from Senegal to Sudan. There are about 20 sub-species in these areas. Their preferred habitat is acacia woodland along streams, rivers and lakes.
Males vary in size from 45–85cm and weigh between 3.5 and 7.5kg, while females range from 40–60cm in size and weigh between 2.5 and 5.5kg.
Vervets are small and slender with a long tail. Both sexes have sharp canine teeth.
Vervet Monkeys eat a wide range of fruits, figs, leaves, seeds and flowers. They also eat birds’ eggs and young chicks, and insects (grasshoppers and termites). In human inhabited environments they will eat bread and various crops, especially maize.
Vervet society is built on complex but stable social groups (called troops) of 10 to 50 individuals: mainly adult females and their immature offspring. There is a strict social hierarchy among troop members: a mother’s social standing predetermines her offspring’s, and even adults in a family must submit to juveniles of families with higher social status.
- The Vervet Monkey uses different sounds to warn of different types of predators
- They have distinct calls to warn of the sighting of a leopard, a snake or an eagle
- Vervets living near areas inhabited by people can become pests, stealing food and other items and raiding crops
- Also is known as the Grivet Monkey or Green Monkey