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A review of the conservation status of red colobus indicates that ≥38.9% of the taxa are threatened with extinction in the near future. Although no taxon of red colobus appears to have gone extinct, many of their populations have. The major threats are hunting and habitat loss and degradation, but in some cases intrinsic biotic factors, such as predator-prey imbalance, are leading to serious declines in populations. I propose a general framework for evaluating conservation problems and possible solutions, with an emphasis on distinguishing between proximate and ultimate variables and the time scales involved. In general, most viable populations of red colobus occur in well-protected forests; usually national parks. I proffer recommendations to improve the conservation status of the parks, which will benefit red colobus and most other tropical forest species.