Thomas Geissmann, who led the taxonomic description, described the monkey as having almost entirely blackish fur with white fur only on ear tufts, chin beard and perineal area. It also has a relatively long tail, approximately 140% of its body size. The new photos confirm this description.
"After the discovery of the new species of Snub-nosed Monkey in Myanmar we conducted hunter interview surveys along the Chinese-Myanmar border which suggest at least one group in contiguous forest across the border in Yunnan. I contacted Long Yongchen my friend and colleague from the IUCN primate specialist group who followed and organised the first surveys that document the presence of the Myanmar 'snubby' in China," said Frank Momberg, Fauna & Flora International, Myanmar Program Director. "The discovery of Rhinepithecus strykeri in China gives a bit more hope for the species survival, however the population is still considered critically endangered, due to the high level of threats and very small population."
With a range crossing national borders efforts to conserve this endangered species will no longer by isolated to Myanmar. The country is currently experiencing political reform, which is expected to lead to economic and industrial development, which may impact natural areas. The researchers are calling for action from China, Myanmar and the international conservation community to protect the area's rich biodiversity.
"This monkey group was actually found in an area designated as a nature reserve 30 years ago and while local people have been hunting the species for ages, local managers knew nothing about it," concluded Long. "This highlights the need to improve wildlife management in China, as it is likely quite a few new species of plants and animals may be discovered in the border areas between China and Myanmar."
|Contact: Ben Norman|