Animal Info - Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey

(Other Names: Brelich's, Gray or White-shoulder-haired Snub-nosed Monkey; Snow Monkey; Snub-nosed Monkey; White-shoulder-haired Snub-nosed Golden Monkey)

Rhinopithecus brelichi (Pygathrix b., P. roxellana b.)

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Gestation Period, Birth Season, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey #1 (49 Kb JPEG); Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey #2 (66 Kb JPEG)

The few Guizhou snub-nosed monkeys measured to date have weighed about 8 kg (18 lb) (1 female) and 15 kg (32 lb) (two males). This monkey lives in steep mountainous areas in a zone of mixed deciduous and evergreen broadleaf forest between 1500 and 2200 m (4900 - 7200'). Temperatures fall below freezing during 5 months of the year, and snow is common in winter. (Ren et al. 1997) The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey uses a wide variety of food resources. Preferred foods include young leaves and leaf buds of many species of broad-leaved trees.

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey is primarily arboreal, although it frequently crosses open areas on the ground. Its social organization appears to be based on small groups of 3 - 10 individuals, each with a single male. These groups congregate in larger, semi-cohesive groups of up to 400 individuals.

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey has only been known from a small area in Guizhou Province, China. In the 1930's, it was included among the Chinese fauna in danger of extinction. Currently, the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey occurs only in a small region centering on Mt. Fanjing in the Wuling Mountains of China.

Hunting of the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, especially for its fur, had already made it rare by the 1960's. Hunting (mostly for food and for use in Oriental medicine) remains a problem. However, habitat loss is the most serious threat, especially the cutting of trees by local residents for firewood and for building homes, as well as deforestation by government-owned logging companies.


Tidbits

*** The three Chinese snub-nosed monkeys (Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus brelichi; Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, R. bieti; and golden snub-nosed monkey, R. roxellana) used to be considered as subspecies (Rhinopithecus roxellana brelichi, R. r. bieti, and R. r. roxellana, respectively) of the snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus roxellana.

*** The fur of snub-nosed monkeys was greatly esteemed by the Chinese and formerly could only be worn by Manchu officials (IUCN 1970).

*** "In our judgment, the conservation problems of the snub-nosed [monkeys] are growing at a faster rate than are the conservation solutions currently being implemented. Particularly in China, the single-minded pursuit of quick money hampers conservation efforts, and short-term profits associated with habitat destruction invariably outweigh long-term consequences. Further, local people see little reason to follow government edicts that prevent them from increasing their standard of living, particularly when local people see ubiquitous media images of a tremendous rise in the living standards of city-dwellers." (Ren et al. 1997)


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in China (IUCN 2004).

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey has only been known from a small area in Guizhou Province, China. It was already rare by the time its existence became known to Western scientists. In the 1930's, it was included among the Chinese fauna in danger of extinction. In 1970, it was reported from northern Kweichow (Guizhou), to the south of the Yangtze River along the higher parts of the Kweichow/Szechwan (Guizhou/Sichuan) border region. (Simon & Geroudet 1970)

Currently, the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey occurs only in a small region centering on Mt. Fanjing (Fanjing Shan) (108 deg 50' E, 27 deg 57' N) in the Wuling Mountains of China, with the monkeys mostly restricted to the 275 sq km (106 sq mi) core area of the Fanjing Shan Nature Reserve (Ren et al. 1997, IUCN 2000).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting of the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, especially for its fur, had already made it rare by the 1960's. Hunting (mostly for food and use in Oriental medicine) is still a problem, but the most serious threat is continued habitat loss.

The forests of snub-nosed monkeys are used heavily both by local residents and by government-owned logging companies. Local residents cut trees for firewood and for building homes. Local governments are typically dependent on logging as the primary source of revenue. Large-scale logging is technically forbidden in national-level nature reserves in China, but almost all forests outside reserves are slated for clear cutting. (Ren et al. 1997)


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

One adult female Guizhou snub-nosed monkey weighed about 8 kg (18 lb); two males averaged 14.5 kg. (32 lb).

Habitat:

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey lives in steep mountainous areas in a zone of mixed deciduous and evergreen broadleaf forest between 1500 and 2200 m (4900 - 7200'). Yearly rainfall above 1600 m (5200') exceeds 2000 mm (79"). Temperatures fall below freezing during 5 months of the year, and snow is common in winter. Monthly average temperatures are never below 0 deg C (32 deg F), however. (Ren et al. 1997)

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey is one of the species that live in the Mountains of Southwest China Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.)

Gestation Period:

Approximately 5 months.

Birth Season:

Young are born in the Spring.

Diet:

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey uses a wide variety of food resources, with significant changes through the seasons. Preferred foods include young leaves and leaf buds of many species of broad-leaved trees. It also eats flower buds, fruits and seeds, bark and insect larvae. (Ren et al. 1997)

Behavior:

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey is primarily arboreal, although it frequently crosses open areas on the ground.

Social Organization:

The social organization in the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey appears to be based on small groups of 3 - 10 individuals, each with a single male. These groups congregate in larger, semi-cohesive groups of up to 400 individuals. Bachelor groups of 2 - 5 adult or subadult males occur on the periphery of these larger groups.


References

Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl., Davies & Oates 1994, IUCN 1970, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Macdonald 1984, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Ren et al. 1997, Simon & Geroudet 1970


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Last modified: February 6, 2005;

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