a1 Department of Zoology, West Mains Road, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JT, UK
Little is known about the mandrill Mandrillus sphinx in the wild. It is an elusive primate and thus difficult to study in its rain-forest habitat in equatorial Africa. As human pressure on its habitat grows it has become increasingly urgent to discover more about the species so that appropriate conservation measures can be planned. The author made a 15-month study of the mandrill in Gabon and discovered that it was not as widely distributed as had been believed. Although it is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat disruption, populations still remain and five reserves protect some of these.