How can we help save the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey has been at the centre of Fauna & Flora’s primate conservation activities for most of this millennium.
By the time we discovered a globally important population of this monkey in 2002, it was already on the brink of extinction; a mere 50-60 individuals were confirmed to be present in the forest at Khau Ca where it was found. Five years later, Fauna & Flora discovered a separate population of this monkey – subsequently confirmed as the second largest – in a forest fragment near the border with China.
Fauna & Flora has focused on engaging local communities in species monitoring and habitat protection at both these sites. In order to safeguard the largest surviving population, we worked with the Vietnamese authorities to ensure that the Khau Ca forest was given formal protection. Since then numbers have stabilised and steadily increased.
Today, the population in Khau Ca comprises around 150 individuals, a threefold increase in the number of Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys in this location since their rediscovery.
The second-largest population is under severe pressure from hunting and habitat loss as a result of agricultural conversion, and its future is uncertain. Elsewhere in Vietnam, this monkey appears to have been virtually wiped out. The last few groups are thought to have been reduced to isolated individuals with little prospect of recovery.
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is still officially listed among the world’s 25 most endangered primates. It is now receiving the international attention it deserves, but much work remains to be done to secure its long-term future.