Snub-Nosed Monkey Species Also Found in China

Posted on July 26, 2012

Snub Nosed Monkey in China


Chinese researchers found a population of the recently discovered snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus Strykeri, in China. These monkeys have upturned nostrils that reportedly make it sneeze in the rain. An earlier video of the strange monkeys in Myanmar can be seen here.

The species was first discovered in October 2010. It was believed as the time that the species was isolated to the Kachin State of north eastern Myanmar. However, this new discovery reveals the international range of the critically endangered species.

The new expedition, led by Yongcheng Long from the Nature Conservancy China Program, traveled 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.

Long says, "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. 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 honor 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, researchers say long term observations did not show that they spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees as the hunters claim.

The paper on the snub-nosed monkeys in China is published here in the American Journal of Primatology.

Photo: Liu Pu