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Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Geographic distribution

  • Tropical Africa (Isbell 2013)
  • Widespread below the Sahara Desert to above the tropical forest belt
  • Nearly span the African continent west to east
    • Western-most population reaching Dakar-Yoff, NW Senegal
    • East to Ethiopia's Lake Tana
  • Isolated populations on the Aïr Massif, Niger and some districts of Kenya and Tanzania (Isbell 2013; Kingdon et al. 2008)

Sub-specific distribution

  • Erythrocebus patas baumstarki- Tanzania, Serengeti and Athi Plains and the west side of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Mittermeier et al. 2013)
    • Not well documented
  • E. p. patas- sub-Saharan Africa from southern Mauritania and Senegal to Chad and Central African Republic (Mittermeier et al. 2013)
    • Isolated populations in Aïr Massif of northern Niger and the Ennedi Massif, Chad
    • Introduced into southwestern Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean - see Introduced Population (Gonzalez-Martinez 1998)
  • E. p. pyrrhonotus - Southern Sudan, north to Nubia; western Ethiopia; northern Democratic Republic of Congo; northern Uganda; Kenya (Mittermeier et al. 2013)
  • E. p. villiersi- Niger, from Aïr and north of the bend of the Niger River (Mittermeier et al. 2013)
    • Uncertain distribution



  • Terrestrial: spends most of time on the ground (Hall 1966; Isbell 2013)
  • Climbs trees on occasion in daylight and to sleep at night (Mittermeier et al. 2013)

Habitat type

  • Open grassland, savanna, and woodland (Isbell 2013)
  • Dominant plant species vary across the range
    • In Cameroon's Kala Maloue National Park: Zornia glochidata and Panicum spp. - grassland habitat (Isbell 2013)
    • In Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park: Acacia sieberiana, Tamarindus indica, and Combretum aculeatum - woodland habitat (Isbell 2013)
    • Kenya and Tanzania - Acacia drepanolobium, Pennisetum mezianum, Pennisetum stramineum, and Themeda triandra - poorly drained, seasonally waterlogged vertisolic soils (Isbell 2013)

Precipitation range

  • c.250-1435 mm (Isbell 2013)
  • Drink water daily; restricted to locations with permanent water sources in drier habitats (Isbell 2013)

Altitude range

  • 0-2050 m (Isbell 2013)
  • Typically at lower elevations (Mittermeier et al. 2013)

Distribution Map

Patas monkey distribution map
Patas monkey distribution. 
Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet.

Page Citations

Hall (1966)

Isbell (2013)

Kingdon et al. (2008)

Mittermeier et al. (2013)

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