Snub Nosed Monkey

Category: Wildlife

Snub-nosed monkeys live in a small area of forests high in the mountains of Southwest China. They live at very high elevations, up to 3,400 meters above sea level.

Snub Nosed Monkey

Snub Nosed Monkey

Scientific & Common Names

Class: Mammalia

Order: Primates

Family: Cercopithecidae

Genus: Rhinopithecus
Species: R. roxellana
Common Names: Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey, Sichuan Golden Hair Monkey, Sichuan Snub-Nosed Monkey, Golden Monkey

Characteristics

Snub-nosed monkeys get their name from their distinctive noses, which are very short with forward facing, almost skeletal-looking nostrils. The most well-known species is the golden snub-nosed monkey, which has reddish gold fur around its head, back and shoulders, and brown hair over much of the rest of its body. Its face is hairless and blue in coloration.

Breeding

Mating occurs year round, but is most common in October. Gestation lasts about six months. Snub-nosed monkeys live in large units composed mostly of females, and the entire group assists in the care of the young.

Behavior

Snub-nosed monkeys live in social groups composed of numerous females, their young, and usually one male. These group units often band together with other similar groups to form a larger community of snub-nosed monkeys.

These monkeys are mostly herbivorous, and eat lichens, leaves, fruits, seeds, bamboo buds, herbs, bark and flowers. They occasionally supplement their diet with eggs, insects and other small animals. Their predators include canines like the dhole and wolf, felines including leopards and Asiatic golden cats, and birds such as eagles and hawks.

History

These animals are poorly known and secretive, but are kept in captivity in zoos in China including Hong Kong, as well as Japan and South Korea. In the past, snub-nosed monkeys could be found in the San Francisco and San Diego Zoos, but presently they are only kept in zoos in Asia.

Humans used to place high value on their long golden hair, and used it to make coats. The monkey’s bones have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, these practices are out of fashion and not the biggest threat to the monkey’s existence.

Present Status

Snub-nosed monkeys are considered Endangered and are threatened mostly by habitat loss. While all species of snub-nosed monkey are Endangered, two of them are listed as Critically Endangered, the Tonkin and Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys.

The golden snub-nosed monkey wild population is estimated to contain between 8,000 and 15,000 animals.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snub-nosed_monkey
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_snub-nosed_monkey
  3. Macdonald, David W. (2006) (editor). The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals (p. 364). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.