Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus bieti (Pygathrix bieti, P. roxellana bieti)


Status: Endangered


The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is the most endangered of China's three snub-nosed monkey species. The long, shaggy coat is mainly black on the back, arms and legs and white on the front. White hair is also present on the flanks and this is particularly long on the adult males. The lips are a deep pink, whilst the face is paler and there are yellowish-grey hairs on the shoulders. The adult male of the group is considerably larger in size than other members, usually more than one and a half times. These monkeys get their common name for their unusual noses; the nasal bones are absent and the nostrils are upturned. Young are born white but become grey over several months. The primary food of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey appears to be lichens growing on tree bark. Unlike other arboreal primates, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey forms groups that can number more than 200.


Distribution: in the Yunling Mountains in southwestern China.  Recent surveys suggest that there are 13 isolated sub-populations located in five counties in Yunnan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.


THREATS: The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey has suffered from loss of habitat and intensive hunting and trapping. It is also caught in snares set for other animals, such as musk deer. Its population is fragmented, and geographic features make it improbable that there is exchange of individuals between the 13 sub-populations.


POPULATION: about 1500 in the wild.