>> Thursday, November 19, 2009
These monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) were imported to the Eastern Caribbean by Europeans who wanted them as pets. Due to their release, they are now part of the wildlife in St. Kitts and Nevis. They have many common names including savanna monkey, singe vert monkey, green monkey, and more.
They are native to Western Africa and their habitat varies widely. In the West Indies, they hang around densely populated areas and farms. They do this because of the opportunities to steal food. Many farmers' crops have been destroyed by these monkeys. Vervets, like chimpanzees and babboons, are very much omnivores. They do prefer manoges and other fruit, but a good part of their diet is insects and rodents.
They usually feed, sleep, and travel in groups. They are really small, wieghing between 9 and 17 pounds. Since the vervets are non-endangered, get high blood pressure, and more, they are commonly used for biomedical research. Being that they are not from St. Kitts and Nevis, the islands are allowed to capture and sell them to American reasearch companies for a decent bounty. They have been known to eat monkey in the West Indies in times past. It is said that the number of monkeys in St. Kitts and Nevis is double that of people... and they DO steal your beer.