Top Ten Things You Should Know About Yunnan Golden Monkeys

The Yunnan Golden Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) is found only at high altitudes—4,000 m and up!—in the thick, and often snowy, forests of China’s Hengduan Mountains. Besides humans, these monkeys live at the highest altitude of any primate.

Some locals refer to Yunnan Golden Monkeys as “the wild men of the mountains.”

Conservancy scientist Dr. Long Yongcheng’s intensive study of Yunnan Golden Monkeys helped the Conservancy plan monkey refuges and protective corridors.

Just 3,000 Yunnan Golden Monkeys remain in the wild, making them one of Earth’s most endangered monkeys.

The two greatest threats to the survival of the Yunnan Golden Monkey are deforestation—mostly for firewood— and poaching.

More than 120,000 hectares of forests are cut down in Yunnan in each year, just for fuel wood—that’s an area just slightly larger than Hong Kong. This extensive deforestation fragments the habitat of Yunnan Golden Monkeys, putting the survival of their species at risk.

The Conservancy protects what remains of Yunnan’s forests, by installing alternative energy stoves and solar panels in homes and schools in Yunnan to reduce villagers’ need to cut down trees for firewood in monkey habitat. We’ve installed 12,000 of these units in 420 villages, and hope to install 9,000 more.

The Conservancy also plants trees in China, helping to restore Yunnan Golden Monkey habitat. We’ve already planted 3.2 million in Yunnan province alone —10 million across China. We hope to plant at least 15 million more.

Thanks to support from people like YOU, one local group’s populaton of Yunnan Golden Monkeys has tripled — from 200 to 600 monkeys!

This incredibly rare species can only survive if people like us take action to protect them and the forests they call home.

You can help by supporting our work in China.


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.