Once Thought Extinct Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey Discovered
A population of rare Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys were found in the remote rainforests of Northern Vietnam. The monkeys are named after their distinctively shaped noses.
Believed to be extinct until the late 1980s, only around 200 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are left in the world, making it Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species.
In April 2008, thanks to a community tip-off, an FFI-led team of biologists managed to observe 15-20 individuals in forests near the Tung Vai Commune by the Chinese border– the first known population in Vietnam’s Quan Ba District. Three of the individuals were infants - an encouraging sign, indicating that this is a breeding population. Excitingly, local reports indicate that another - possibly larger - group also exists.
This new population provides hope for the future of this species, as the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is now known to survive in no more than five locations in Vietnam. Habitat loss and hunting for the bush meat and traditional medicine trades have been pushing the species to the brink of extinction.