Deep in the remote forests of southwestern China lives the rare and obscure Yunnan golden (or snub-nosed) monkey. Their human-like features have made them the subject of legends in China. But neither their elusiveness nor their human appearance has stopped them from becoming one of the most endangered primates on Earth.
Habitat loss — including deforestation and the removal of dead trees — and illegal hunting have strained a species already struggling to survive in isolated and fragmented populations. There are now fewer than 2,000 Yunnan golden monkeys in the wild.
Discovered by scientists in the 1890s, then lost and thought to be extinct until 1962, these monkeys are a continuing mystery. Scientists are just starting to understand the monkey's biology and behavior. Yunnan golden monkeys:
Recognizing the need for drastic action to protect the Yunnan golden monkey, the Conservancy and Chinese partners launched a program to protect this legendary species and save the best primary forests in an area of the Three Parallel Rivers, the famous world heritage site, that's sandwiched between The Yangtze River and The Mekong River.
Not since the efforts to protect the giant panda has a species protection program been launched in China at such a large scale.
To bring the monkey back from brink of extinction, the Conservancy and partners are:
The Conservancy and our partners are continuing to learn more about the Yunnan golden monkey and use that research to find ways to keep the monkey from extinction.
You can also play a role in the Conservancy's efforts to save the Yunnan golden monkey when you support our work.
Yunnan Golden Monkey Distribution, 2009.