An FFI-led team discovered a new species of snub-nosed monkey in the Imawbum Mountain Range in northern Myanmar in 2010. The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey’s range is believed to be less than 400 km2, with an estimated population of 260 – 330 individuals. The species has been classified as critically endangered and is restricted to the high-altitude zone of the Imawbum massif between the N’mai River and the Chinese border.
The mountain range supports one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the eastern Himalayas. FFI-led surveys also recorded other threatened species of global conservation importance such as red panda, Asiatic black bear, takin and Blyth’s tragopan, a spectacular pheasant.
Using the recently discovered primate as a flagship species, FFI has encouraged indigenous communities and local township authorities to establish a community-based conservation area. Taking a bottom-up approach to protected area gazettement, local communities, regional and national government have since approved the establishment of Imawbum National Park. FFI continues to support the completion of the national park designation and management planning process, while supporting sustainable livelihood development in the buffer zone.