The Cercopithecus lomamiensis, is the first new species of monkey found in 28 years. Here two photos of a captive Lesula monkey (Cercopithecus lomamiensis). Credit: PLOS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044271
The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A new species of monkey has been identified in Africa according to researchers. The species, known locally as the Lesula, was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in central Africa.

The so-called Lesula is believed to be populated central Congo, in one of the last unexplored wildernesses in the world, where they live and probably feed on leafstalks, fruit, and flower buds.

Although this 17,000 square kilometers (6,500 square miles) area in which the Lesula has been found, is indeed very remote and sparsely populated by humans, the researchers warn that the monkey is vulnerable to extinction as a result of hunting.

They, therefore, call attention to controls on hunting and the creation of protected areas covering the range of this species as well as others (such as the Congolese gorillas), to conserve and protect the wildlife found in the region.

Researcher John Hart said: “The challenge for conservation now in Congo is to intervene before losses become definitive.”

This discovery of a new species marks the second time a new monkey species has been found in Africa during the last 28 years.

The discovery was published in Plos One:

Lesula: A New Species of Cercopithecus Monkey Endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Implications for Conservation of Congo’s Central Basin