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Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys. Credit:Le Khac Quyet/FFI and Herbert Covert/Uni of Colorado at Boulder

Tonkin snub-nosed monkey sighting in Vietnam

Posted on: 18.05.12 (Last edited) 18 May 2012

A rare sighting of a large group of one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world

As one of the most endangered primate species in the world, sightings of the elusive Tonkin snub-nosed monkey are rare. It’s no wonder a recent sighting of a group in Vietnam has proved cause for celebration.

Believed to be fewer than 200 of the species remaining, this positive sighting by Fauna & Flora International’s community patrol group in Khau Ca forest, identified a group of 80 monkeys, including 16 infants.

Such large gatherings of leaf-eating primates are known to occur seasonally, but with the number of the species dwindling rapidly, groups of this size are rarely observed.

Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are amongst the rarest primates in the world, found only in Vietnam. Despite strict legal protection under local laws, the species is heavily hunted and most of the remaining subpopulations are so small that their survival cannot be guaranteed.

The population at the Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey Species and Habitat Conservation Area at Khau Ca, where this group was seen, is the largest remaining and is currently estimated to comprise a total of about 110 individuals.

To breed successfully Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys need good quality forest and absolute safety from hunting. Fauna & Flora International has been supporting the local forest protection authorities in Khau Ca for a decade, to safeguard these impressive primates. The University of Colorado at Boulder and the Zoos of Denver, San Diego and Singapore also contribute to conservation at this site and the joint efforts appear to have led to a stabilisation and gradual recovery of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey population at Khau Ca.

Written by
Ally Catterick

Ally worked in media management and PR for clients including comedians Eddie Izzard and Ed Byrne before becoming Publicity Manager for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Strategy and communications for conservation organisation Greening Australia and her role as Unit and Company Publicist for production company Roving Enterprises followed, until she was introduced to FFI upon their arrival in Australia in 2008. Ally became a founding board member – until moving to the UK to become the organisation's Communications Manager. Ally is now FFI's Deputy Director of Communications and oversees all communications for FFI globally.

Other posts by Ally Catterick

Despite strict legal protection under local laws, the species is heavily hunted and most of the remaining subpopulations are so small that their survival cannot be guaranteed.

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