August 14, 2013
The number of black snub-nosed monkeys in southwestern China has increased by more than 50 percent since the 1990's due to conservation efforts, reports Chinese state media.
Yunnan Golden Monkey. Photo by Long Yongcheng / The Nature Conservancy
The species was close to extinction in the 1980's due to hunting for food and their pelts. Since then, authorities have established protected areas, enacted a hunting ban, banned logging, and confiscated hunting guns.
The Yunnan golden or black snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) dwells in the most extreme environment of any monkey: high-altitude evergreen forests at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 meters (9,800 to 14,800 feet), where temperatures may fall below freezing for several months in a row.
In search of rare, high elevation monkeys in China
Saving China's golden monkey from extinction
(October 18, 2006) High in the cloud-shrouded Yunling mountains of northwestern Yunnan and southeastern Tibet (southwestern China) lives one of the world's most elusive monkeys, the Yunnan golden or snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti). The species dwells in the most extreme environment of any monkey—high-altitude evergreen forests at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 meters (9,800 to 14,800 feet), where temperatures may fall below freezing for several months in a row. Today there are fewer than 2,000 Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys remaining. Hunting and habitat loss have brought the species, which is limited to a single mountain range, to the brink of extinction. The monkeys are fragmented into 15 small sub-populations, which are at risk because of genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding.