Species: Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus)
Status: Critically Endangered (CR)
Interesting Fact: The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is the largest species of primate in Vietnam.
With almost clown-like features, this bizarre looking primate is endemic to the subtropical evergreen forests of Vietnam. Here, it agilely walks, climbs and leaps through the forest canopy in search of leaves, fruit, flowers and seeds to feed on. The social structure of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey society appears to be fairly flexible consisting of large troops that subdivide into smaller units. Each unit usually contains a dominant male, several females, and young and the groups frequently come together to feed, travel or sleep.
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey was presumed extinct before its rediscovery in 1989, and is now considered to be one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world. It is known to occur in just five isolated locations with only around 200 to 250 individuals remaining. Along with habitat destruction, hunting is a major threat to this species despite it being described as ‘bad-tasting’. It is currently protected by Vietnamese law and conservation efforts are underway by Fauna & Flora International to preserve this unique primate.
Find out more about the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey conservation efforts of Fauna & Flora International.
Becky Moran, ARKive Media Researcher