New species of monkey discovered

 


March 2012

Scientists have discovered what they believe to be a new species of monkey living in the northern eastern Myanmar region of Burma. The monkeys are distinctive in appearance due to their strange, upturned nostrils. The total population of this new species is estimated to be just 300 individuals and they are critically endangered. The new species has been named the Burmese snub-nosed monkey.

 

Apparently, the monkeys have been known to locals for some time and they are easy to find in the rain. That is because they sneeze loudly when rainwater gets in their upturned noses. Local people also say they could be found with their heads tucked between their knees on rainy days.

 

Asia-Pacific Development Director for Fauna & Flora International, Frank Momberg, told the BBC it was absolutely exceptional to discover a new species of primate. With the new snub-nosed monkey, Myanmar has now 15 species of primates, which underlines the importance of Myanmar for biodiversity conservation.

 

Sadly, the threats to this new species of monkey come from the all too common problems of human population growth and encroachment into native habitats. The monkeys are also hunted by some local people for food.

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