Chinese researchers have published the first evidence that a population of the recently discovered snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus Strykeri, live in China. Until now researchers have been unable to photograph the monkey, whose upturned nostrils are said to make it sneeze in the rain. The paper is published in the American Journal of Primatology.
The species was first discovered by a team led by Ngwe Lwin from the Myanmar Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association and described by Dr Thomas Geissman in the American Journal of Primatology in October 2010. It was believed that the species was isolated to the Kachin State of north eastern Myanmar. However, this new discovery reveals the international range of this critically endangered species.
The new expedition, led by Yongcheng Long from the Nature Conservancy China Program, travelled to the Yunnan province of China after a forest guard, Liu Pu, took photos of a group of snub-nosed monkeys in a forest in near Pianma, in Yunann's Lushui County.
"The population of this species is hard to estimate, but based on our contacts with the monkey group both in October 2011 and in March 2012 we estimate the population to be less than 100 individuals," said Long. "However, while we now know the home range to be far greater than previously believed, we still do not yet know the true population number or the extent of their home range as the monkeys are shy and very hard to access."
In local dialects the species is called mey nwoah, 'monkey with an upturned face', although it was officially named 'Rhinopithecus Strykeri' in honour of Jon Stryker, President and Founder of the Arcus Foundation, which supported the initial project.
Local hunters claim the monkey is easy to find when it is raining because they often get rainwater in their upturned noses causing them to sneeze. However, long term observations did not show that they spend rainy days si
|Contact: Ben Norman|