Monkey Month in Cornwall

Colin Pringle : December 5, 2013 3:12 am : CERCONEWS

St Michaels Mount, MarazionMysterious Cornwall, in the remote South West of Britain, is the home of CERCOPAN’s Ambassador Kate Butcher. Kate has wasted no time in getting to work to raise awareness of us and the monkeys we save and care for. A major event that Kate is organising in February is Monkey Month! There will be a host of monkey related events in the ancient town of Marazion including: A pub quiz at The Kings Arms; Kids afternoon at Abby’s Delicious Delicatessen (with face painting and entertainment); A film showing & reception; A pop band with an evening of monkey based music (!?); A celebration by Marazion School & pupils where guenon face masks will be made, and an array of specially designed cakes & craftwares from the very creative community of this special town!

We will provide more details as plans develop, but if you have further ideas or are even in the area to visit – please contact us! January will see an article about CERCOPAN in Cornwall Today, the primary regional magazine about affairs Cornish, which is also widely read internationally because of the large number of Cornish people who have travelled and settled all over the world.

All this will take place in the shadow of world famous St Michael’s Mount – just a few hundred yards from Marazion beach. Initial reports are that the Marazion community are getting very excited at brightening up the coldest winter month by celebrating our tropical monkeys! In fact Marazion and St Michaels Mount – one of the reputed sites of legendary King Arthur’s burial – is almost as exotic as our remote rainforest in Nigeria….


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Shop Christmas; help monkeys!

Amy Baxter : November 29, 2013 10:24 pm : CERCONEWS

Mona Tote Bag

With the countdown to Christmas well underway, many of us are starting to think about purchasing gifts for our loved ones. Well, did you know that if you buy online many companies will make a donation on your behalf to charity, for free?! It’s done through a process called Give As You Live. Once you have registered with Give as You Live, then any store that is part of the programme will automatically make a donation whenever you shop online. And there are over 3,000 UK-based retailers involved, including John Lewis, Expedia, Next, Argos, B&Q, Amazon, M&S, Asos, Topshop, and supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s.

Please sign up to support CERCOPAN here and click where it says ‘Get Started’. Your name (you can even be anonymous), and your email address are all that is required. If you sign up soon you can participate in the chance to win a collection of gifts worth £1000, in addition to £250 for CERCOPAN!

CERCOPAN Iphone case

And another idea for you is the CERCOPAN merchandise available for those who love animals. We have a range of gifts available on Café Press for both our UK (here) and US supporters (here). These include t-shirts, iphone covers, bags, mugs, clocks, and much more!

Alternatively, how about adopting a monkey for the friends and family who already have everything they need? With biannual updates emailed directly to them, they will remember your gift throughout the year and get the opportunity to follow some of our groups in detail as the monkeys progress through their rehabilitation. You can choose from any of our monkey species here.

And finally, regardless of your Christmas shopping programme, CERCOPAN – our staff, volunteers, and monkeys – would all like to wish you a fantastic festive season and a great Christmas day! Enjoy the merriment!



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Nigerian Student Bisi Researching Malaria

Amy Baxter : November 29, 2013 10:11 pm : CERCONEWS

BisiOne of the ways CERCOPAN helps primates, is by working to increase knowledge about them and their rainforest home through our research programme.  Specifically, we conduct research into primate  behaviour , primate welfare, ecology, human use of forest resources, and bioidversity. Wherever possible, we also try to help build the capacity of future researchers and facilitate existing researchers in their independent research.

As part of this programme, we are currently collaborating with Nigerian PhD student, Olabisi Oduwole (‘Bisi’), who is studying  simian and human malaria. Here at the sanctuary we have been taking blood samples from our primates during routine health checks for Bisi to test for simian malaria. She is also investigating the overlap between the Simian and human stains of malaria in particular areas. To do this, she takes blood samples from forest-users in communities where people spend time in the habitat of wild primates.

Bisi recently visited our Rhoko site to incorporate Iko Esai residents into her study. Whilst there she also took samples from volunteering CERCOPAN staff members. She caught Mosquitoes from the area using a funnelled net with a lactic acid attractant, and an ultra-violet light. When the mosquitos fly close to the trap, they are sucked into the funnel by a small battery powered fan and preserved or later analysis. Bisi has hung her mosquito trap in many locations in Rhoko and Calabar, but our Director Colin, was particularly pleased when she set it up in the CERCOPAN office as Mosquito’s seem to consider him an irresistible snack!

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Gorilla Guardians visit CERCOPAN

Amy Baxter : November 29, 2013 10:04 pm : CERCONEWS

Gorilla Guardians at CERCOPANLast month we had the pleasure of meeting Jonathon Stark, Senior Ape Keeper at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and Rick Jones, Durrell’s Communications Officer. Rick and John are travelling in the footsteps of their founder, Gerald Durrell, who’s trip through Nigeria and Cameroon is recounted in his bestseller ‘The Bafut Beagles’.  They are using this visit to highlight the plight of the Cross River gorilla and the unsung ‘Gorilla Guardians’ that work to protect them.

Whilst CERCOPAN does not directly protect Gorilla habitat, we do serve to spread the message of conservation and protection for all primates in the state. Over 20,000 visitors a year come to our Calabar education centre and our children’s environmental outreach programme includes 70 Cross River schools. We also educate adults in the 4 rural communities surrounding our field site and conduct field courses for the two main universities within Calabar. Rick and John were very interested in this important work, so came to the office to have a chat and to film some of the primates we care for at our sanctuary.

The Cross River gorilla is the most endangered of all gorilla species and has a very limited range within the forest blocks stretching across the Nigeria/Cameroon border. Few people glimpse the remaining individuals in the wild as numbers have drastically reduced due to high hunting pressure. More often than not, peoples’ close up encounters with Cross River gorillas tend to be when they are dead and being sold for bushmeat. Continued hunting pressure combined with habitat loss have pushed the small populations deep into the remaining forest and the Gorilla Guardian team had a long trek ahead of them to find any evidence of their presence.

CERCOPAN was one of their first stops, as Cross River State was the beginning of Durrell’s journey, so we were lucky to meet them fresh-faced and energetic before the difficult journey to come. One of our putty-nosed guenon groups featured in the film, as did our Director, Colin Pringle. Hopefully the documentary will be released in the near future in the UK, and we can’t wait to see it. If you would like to know more about the Gorilla Guardian’s travels, you can keep up with their adventures by following them on facebook here.

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Amy Baxter : November 29, 2013 10:00 pm : CERCONEWS

Greenvolved LogoShort on time and money but really want to make a difference for the Green cause? A brand new global way to Go Green is emerging and CERCOPAN is in at the front end! With just one online click you can channel big corporations to fund our cause. Greenvolved is a scheme to get companies to support green projects by taking notice of peoples’ passion.

Anyone like you can sign up and choose CERCOPAN on the Greenvolved site, and click to give us a ‘Boost’ and push us up the list. Once at the top the project becomes ‘active’ and the gates open for people to vote for us and gain the passmark for funding. We have a limited timeframe but if enough people stand up for our project in that time, their combined voice reaches powerful corporations looking for green projects to sponsor. All we need are the votes of our supporters.

A great aspect of Greenvolved is that we are not in direct competition with other charities, so supporting our charity does not mean other charities don’t get funding too if they can also get enough support. To help CERCOPAN, find us here and sign up to have your voice heard. CERCOPAN is currently on page 2 of the listings, and with your help to ‘Boost’ us up the list we can easily make page 1! Then we will soon go in to ‘voting’ mode once we are at the top. Watch this space for the next ‘call to action’!

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Forest Conservation efforts meet approval

cercopanorg : November 4, 2013 11:27 pm : CERCONEWS

Rhoko ForestOctober marked a milestone in our community forest conservation efforts.  We reported on the progress we have made with our partner villages during this period, when the grant from one of our most significant contributors of recent years reached its term. L’Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (UICN) provided a generous two-year grant that formed the backbone of a bold and successful effort to expand our forest protection programme beyond the partnership that we have long held with the village of Iko Esai.

The approval of our final report to UICN confirmed our continuing strong record in delivering vitally important conservation results, thanks to our magnificent volunteers and staff. We can all be proud of the achievements we have made thanks to the grants from UICN and our other co-funders (primarily Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds, Tusk Trust and the BBC Wildlife Trust). A short list of achievements includes:

–        Extended the area of forest under formal protection from 20,000Ha to 40,000Ha
–        Established Community Based Organisations (CBO’s) in two additional communities. Provided capacity enhancement training and mentoring for three CBO’s leading to successful self-run grant applications, and community development project implementations, by the communities
–        Sustained the phenology study of Rhoko forest through its sixth year
–        Provided alternative livelihoods to relieve exploitation pressure on forest resources to over 60 individuals
–        Facilitated involvement of three communities in the United Nations Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) process within Nigeria that is evaluating options for international carbon credit investment to conserve local forests
–        Surveillance teams within each community have been able to conduct GPS-based surveys of their forest limits and farming incursions to control adherence to Land Use Management Plans established during the project

Given the enormous strides we have made in these two years, we continue to seek funding with great urgency to extend this programme forward, with a vision that remains on track to attract long-term climate change mitigation funding via the REDD process to protect the forests of Cross River State in perpetuity.

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Kate Butcher becomes CERCOPAN ambassador

Colin Pringle : November 4, 2013 10:23 pm : CERCONEWS

Kate Butcher CERCOPAN ambassadorKate Butcher, who lives in Cornwall , UK has agreed to be an Ambassador for CERCOPAN. Kate is an experienced professional in the field of health and development– she spends much of her time on international development missions across the world in the pacific, South Asia and Africa. She is committed to wildlife conservation and among other things  has cared for leopards in Nepal and bridled nail tailed wallabies in Australia.

When in the UK Kate will be working hard for CERCOPAN though! She will visit local primary schools and share our education materials with teachers& pupils – and encourage them to fundraise for us! She has also planned a monkey theme pub quiz to raise funds, has organized a charity recycling scheme for us.

Hats off to Kate, and please send us any monkey quiz questions to help her! If any of our supporters are interested in being an Ambassador for CERCOPAN we will be very pleased to hear from you!


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The Great Escape

Colin Pringle : November 2, 2013 10:37 pm : CERCONEWS

Red Capped Mangabey enclosureOn the night of 19th October we had a big storm at our Rhoko Rainforest Research Station, which neatly dropped four trees onto the Red Capped Mangabey enclosure electric fence. Over 70 Red Capped Mangabeys are housed in the state of the art, 1ha open-top enclosure; in preparation for a release back to the wild, but on the morning of the 20th, we were down to zero! Thankfully our chief Mangabey keeper, Akposi and Richard Mundy, our Rhoko Manager, were on hand as soon as it was light and immediately organized all of the staff to help lure the animals back inside. With all of the animals rounded up and the fence repaired, normal service is now resumed. Here’s hoping the next mass release…is a planned one!


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The Hills are Alive, with the Sound of Monkeys

Colin Pringle : November 2, 2013 9:19 pm : CERCONEWS

Primate callingVery little is known about how the Guenons and Mangabeys we keep behave in the wild. But more is known about their behaviour in captivity – CERCOPAN are acknowledged experts as we have successfully kept these animals since 1995. To improve our knowledge, we are going to record and analyse the various different calls made by the 6 species in the sanctuary in Calabar. We know that Putty Nose Guenons seem to have calls that identify an individual; and that different calls are made for different things – for example, a snake warning call is different from an eagle warning.

We will explore the calls of all our species – many of them will be recorded for the first time ever. Expert analysis of the calls will help us find out some of the secrets of the monkey world of sound! We also hope that what we find will help us to ensure the welfare of our sanctuary animals.

Sound is certainly very important to our monkeys. In CERCOPAN we hear a unique collection of the different calls even as we sit in the office! Deep booms from the Monas, to tuneful barks from Mangabeys, and chirrups and sneezes from Puttys, Red Ears & Sclaters. It is an exciting project, and we look forward to sharing our findings!

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Writer and Actor Leo Horsfield is CERCOPAN’s first Celebrity Ambassador!

Colin Pringle : November 1, 2013 11:16 pm : CERCONEWS

Leo horsfieldLeo says he is ‘very humbled’ to have been asked to help CERCOPAN  – but we’re extremely grateful to have him on board to help with raising awareness about the work we do in rescuing & conserving monkeys and their precious rainforest habitat.

Leo already has an impressive number of film credits – from his first role in BAFTA nominated ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ (2003), to ‘Timelock’, ‘The Midnight Barber’,  ‘Native Son’, ‘ I Love Luci’ and the multi award winning ‘A Spanking in Paradise’. 2013 has been especially busy for Leo with ‘The Zombie King’, and Scotland’s most successful horror franchise “Outpost”, recently premiered it’s third installment at the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival. Watch out for Leo as the sinister Surgeon in “Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz”!

Everything from comedy to horror, via drama, crime & Tartan Noir! Leo has somehow found time to fill the small screen as well – BBC Three comedy series “Pramface”, Drama series “River City” and a role in Britain’s longest running crime drama series “Taggart”

We look forward to working with Leo in the near future, and you can find out more about Leo & his work here:






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