Researchers find large population of extremely rare monkey
July 2, 2007
A team of scientists from WWF and Conservation International (CI) has discovered the world’s largest known population of grey-shanked doucs (Pygathrix cinerea), a monkey ranked as one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates, in Vietnam. The discovery is fueling that the species can be saved from extinction — less than 1,000 of the monkeys are thought to remain.
“This is an exciting and important discovery because of the large size of the population,” said Barney Long, Central Truong Son Conservation Landscape Coordinator for WWF Greater Mekong — Vietnam Program. “It’s very rare to discover a population of this size with such high numbers in a small area, especially for a species on the brink of extinction. This indicates that the population has not been impacted by hunting like all other known populations of the species.”
Recent surveys in Que Phuoc Commune in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam turned up 116 individuals and researchers believe the population may number more than 180 animals. More grey-shanked doucs may live in nearby forest areas.
The grey-shanked douc was first described in 1997. The species lines in the subtropical forests of Vietnam and is classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to hunting and habitat loss from logging, fuelwood harvesting, and forest conversion for agriculture.