The Patas Monkey also known as Erythrocebus patas is among the unique Wildlife species that travellers on safari in Uganda have an opportunity to explore. It is a ground dwelling monkey and thrives in the dry savannah landscapes of tropical Africa.
Extending to 85cm in length excluding the tail which itself can stretch to 75cm, the Patas Monkey is a noticeable Primate species and recorded to be the fastest runner among all species of primates at a speed of 55km/h. It has sexual differences with the Males bigger than females in terms of size. This can be explored while on Uganda Safaris and tours.
Patas Monkeys live in extensive female groupings comprising of about sixty (60) individuals with one male for the most part of the year. Males leave their natal groups at the age of four (4) the same time, they attain the sexual maturity. They later join the female groups during the breeding season.
The habitats of Patas Monkeys include open savannah and semi-arid areas and can hardly be found in dense woodlands. It is thus no wonder that in Uganda, this species thrive in northern Uganda tour destinations of Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Parks.
Patas Monkeys feed on both plants and small animals since they are omnivores. They greatly feed on acacia fruits, galls and leaves, seasonal fruits, flowers and tree gum. The lizards, eggs of birds and insects are also among their food sources as at times viewed by travellers on Safaris in Uganda.
The Patas Monkeys are susceptible to animal attacks including leopards, cheetah along with Lions while the young ones can even be attacked by the Hyenas, African wild dogs, large snakes and birds of prey. Man also hunts them for meat and research specimen.
In the conservation world, the Patas Monkeys are listed as Species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature.