Species Data

Class: Mammalia

Order: Primates

Family: Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Chlorocebus pygerythrus

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

IUCN Species Range Map



These medium-sized, semi-terrestrial primates are common in East Africa. Vervet Monkeys are usually greenish-olive or silvery-grey with black hands, feet, ears, face and top of the tail.

Males are slightly larger than females, their average weight is from 3kg – 5kg and they measure 40 cm – 60 cm with a tail of about 30 cm-50 cm in length.



Vervets live in mixed-sex troops of up to 38 individuals, often with a strong social hierarchy among members.

They sleep in tall trees and scavenge for leaves, young shoots, seeds, roots, flowers, bark fruit, and sometimes insects, eggs, baby birds and rodents.

Vervet Monkey portrait
A view of forest landscape, Tanzania


Vervet populations are patchily distributed in eastern and southern Africa – from the Ethiopian Highlands and southern Somalia to Kenya, eastern Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and much of South Africa.

Vervets occupy savanna, open woodland and forest-grassland mosaics, preferring to reside close to rivers and lake shores. They can live in mountain areas up to about 4,000 metres.


Threats and Conservation

Vervet monkeys are adaptable, but their patchy distribution and often small populations are extremely vulnerable to local decline due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation from human activity.

Starting in 2021 and with support from WLT, Tanzanian conservation body TFCG will create 10 reserves to protect a stretch of coastal forests in the Lindi District, southeastern Tanzania, that is a known home of Vervet Monkeys.


Protected by these WLT Projects