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Guizhou Golden Monkey

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.These primates have never been exhibited abroad as they are the least number of primates in the world. In Guizhou Fanjingshan Mountain the fossils of this monkey were found. It proved that the golden monkeys have lived there as living fossils since ancient times.

Also known as Ash Snub-nosed Monkey, White-shouldered and Snub-nosed Monkey, and Cattle-tailed Monkey, it belongs to the Cercopithecidae family of Primates order, with the Latin scientific name Rhinopithecus brelichi and English name Guizhou Golden Monkey.

Yunnan golden monkeys:

  • Make their home at altitudes higher than any other primate except humans.
  • Live and travel in communities made up of small family groups consisting of one male, several females and their children.
  • Spend most of their lives in trees, eating only plants – primarily lichens found on trees. Although sometimes they can also come down to search for food on the ground, including plant tubes underground.
  • Have a wandering lifestyle. A troop may cover a few kilometers in one day and have an immense home range of over 50 square kilometers in extreme rugged terrain.
  • Give birth about once every two or three years.

Its body shape is similar to Sichuan Golden Monkey, with nostril up, mouth-nasal part slightly downward sunken, not so swollen as Sichuan Golden Monkey, and cheek grayish white or light blue. The front hair base of vertex is golden yellow, gradually turning into hoar at the rear, with black tips. The ears are white at edges, and the back is taupe. Between two shoulders there is a white speckle. Its hair reaches as long as 16 centimeters. From the outer side of shoulder to the back of hand, the color gradually changes from light grayish brown to black, and the change of hair color of the lower limbs is the same as the upper limbs.

Inhabiting in upland broadleaf forests at an elevation of 1,700 meters or above, it mainly lives on trees in groups, in a way of seasonal grouping and large group formation. They feed on various vegetable leaves, sprouts, flowers, fruits and barks.

Protecting China’s National Treasure

Narrowly distributed in Fanjing Mountain of Guizhou Province, it is a species endemic to China, with a small quantity of only a few hundred. Now Fanjing Mountain Natural Protection Area has been established for the protection of its inhabiting environments.

Guizhou Golden Monkeyhas been listed in Appendix I ofConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).