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Unexpected large monkey population discovered
Date:8/28/2008

NEW YORK (AUGUST 28, 2008) A WCS report reveals surprisingly large populations of two globally threatened primates in a protected area in Cambodia.

The report counted 42,000 black-shanked douc langurs along with 2,500 yellow-cheeked crested gibbons in Cambodia's Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, an estimate that represents the largest known populations for both species in the world.

WCS scientists conducted the surveys with the Royal Government of Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries across an area of 300 square miles (789 square kilometers) within a wider landscape of 1,150 square miles (3,000 square kilometers), which is about the size of Yosemite National Park. The scientists believe total populations within the wider landscape may be considerably greater.

The WCS scientists who worked on the census include Tom Clements, Nut Meng Hor, Men Soriyun, Edward Pollard, Hannah O'Kelly, and Samantha Strindberg.

The data were first presented at the International Primatological Society Congress held recently in Edinburgh, Scotland. WCS also announced at the IPS Congress the discovery of 125,000 western lowland gorillas in northern Republic of Congo, where conservation work has been ongoing since the early 1990s.

"Whether it's protecting gorillas in the Republic of Congo or monkeys and gibbons in Cambodia, conservation can and does work when you have government commitment and scientific knowledge on the ground ," said Dr. John G. Robinson, Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Now we must put into place the management to truly protect these populations and apply the approach to other regions where primates are in trouble."

The two primate species are found in much lower numbers at other sites in Cambodia and in Vietnam. Prior to the recent discovery in the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, the largest known pop
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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