BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Numbers of black snub-nosed monkeys — an endangered species endemic to China — has increased from 2,000 in the 1990s to more than over 3,000 now, Chinese scientists have announced.
This follows an expedition to the primate’s heartlands last month.
The monkeys, known in China as Yunnan golden hair monkeys, are among the world’s most endangered primates. They live in mountainous forests in southwest China’s Yunnan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.
Of the 18 groups scattered throughout the mountains, most live in the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve in Yunnan, which was established in 1983 and added to the list of national-level nature reserves in 1986.
Thanks to protection efforts, the group of 200 monkeys that Long Yongcheng, a chief scientist with the charitable environmental organization Nature Conservancy, encountered during his first expedition in 1987 has grown to over 1,800 — more than 60 percent of the world’s total.
Taking the monkeys in other parts of Yunnan and Tibet’s Markam County into account, the species’ total population has surpassed 3,000, Long said after a joint expedition with three French scientists.
The number of black snub-nosed monkeys in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has increased from 50 in the 1990s to 700, the Markam County forestry bureau reported in January.
The black snub-nosed monkeys were close to extinction in the 1980s, because local hunters poached them for food and their striking black and white fur.
The key to saving the monkeys and their forest home lies in raising awareness and helping hunters find other livelihoods, said Long.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)