The discovery of a second, albeit small, population in China is good news for the species, as the population in Myanmar is imperiled by hunting and trapping, activities which could worsen as logging makes inroads on their habitat. There are five species of snub-nosed monkey, all of them threatened, except the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey which hasn't been evaluated, but may fit the criteria for Critically Endangered.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey first came to the world's attention in 2010 when a researcher announced its discovery based on a carcass killed by a local hunter Myanmar. Locals referred to the monkey as mey nwoah, or 'monkey with an upturned face', and noted that hunters could find them easily in the rain, because their noses caused them to sneeze from raindrops collecting in them.
The gray snub-nosed monkey (R. brelichi) is somewhat smaller, long-tailed, and dark gray with a red path on the crown and a white patch between the shoulders. It lives only on Mt. Fanjin in Southern China (Kweichow province) at about 1,500 metres (4,900 feet).
The black snub-nosed monkey (R. bieti) is black above and white below, with a greenish face and a forward-curling tuft of hair on the crown of the head. It is longer-bodied and shorter-tailed than the golden species but weighs about the same. Found only along the divide between Yangtze and Mekong rivers in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, it lives at elevations up to 4,000 metres (about 13,100 feet) in mainly coniferous forests, which are snow-covered for much of the year.
Statistics released by Fauna and Flora International (FFI) show that in 2002, there were only 250 such monkeys left in the world, of which 60 were living in Khau Ca Forest.
The shy and mysterious snub-nosed monkey is one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world
The number of snub-nosed monkeys, an endangered species, in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang has grown to over 100, said Hoang Van Tue, head of the management board of the Khau Ca Species and Habitat Conservation Centre. He added that Ha Giang has the largest population of snub-nosed monkeys anywhere in the world.
Yunnan snub-nose monkey is a world known endangered species. It only inhabits among the south edge of Himaraya-Hengduan mountainous regions. According to a recent survey, its population has decreased to 1600.
Two half-blood Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhisnopithecus bieti) were born in the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIZ) on the morning of February 21, 2012. The two baby monkeys, now in excellent physical conditions, belong to the second generation of artificial propagated monkeys.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey is already facing serious threats, with its forest habitat coming under pressure from increased logging and development (including one of Asia’s largest hydropower development schemes). To support these industries, new roads are being built which allow hunters and illegal loggers easy access to the mountain forests. Meanwhile, the influx of workers to the region is increasing demand for bush meat and wildlife products.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey is a new species to science, discovered in 2010 by a team of local and international conservationists in Northern Myanmar. It has almost entirely black fur with white only on ear tufts, chin beard and perineal area. It also has a relatively long tail, approximately 140% of its body length.