Black Snub-Nosed Monkey

Black Snub-Nosed Monkey

Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, Yunnan golden hair monkey (China), Black-and-white snub-nosed monkey (China)

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Infraorder
SPECIES
Rhinopithecus bieti
Population size
1,000
WEIGHT
9-14 kg
LENGTH
74-83 cm

The Black snub-nosed monkey is a large black and white primate that lives only in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan; there it is known to the locals as the Yunnan golden hair monkey and the Black-and-white snub-nosed monkey. It is threatened by habitat loss and is considered an endangered species. With their unique adaptations to their environment, these monkeys thrive at extreme altitudes despite the below-freezing temperatures and thin air. Their fur is extremely thick to protect them against below-freezing temperatures. They are born with white fur that darkens with age. Another distinctive feature shared by both adults and babies is their hairless and vibrant pink lips. These primates get the "snub-nosed" part of their name from the absence of nasal bones. This is considered their most distinctive feature.

Di

Diurnal

He

Herbivore

Fo

Folivore

Fr

Frugivore

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Zo

Zoochory

No

Nomadic

Te

Terrestrial

Vi

Viviparous

Po

Polygyny

So

Social

B

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries
Biogeographical realms

Black snub-nosed monkeys are found only in Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests of the Yun Range, which is part of the greater Hengduan Mountains. Only 17 groups survive in northwest Yunnan and neighboring regions in the Autonomous Prefecture of Tibet. The territory of each group varies from 20 to 135 square km.

Black Snub-Nosed Monkey habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Black snub-nosed monkeys are active during the day and spend the majority of their life in the trees. They live together in very large groups of up to 500 members, splitting up into smaller groups in times of food scarcity, such as in the winter. Groups consist of many more males than females. They have territorial instincts, defending their territory mostly with shouts. They have a large vocal repertoire, calling sometimes solo while at other times together in choir-like fashion.

Diet and Nutrition

Unlike many primates, the diet of Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys consists mainly of lichen found on trees. They will also eat bamboo leaves, fruits, and other, more seasonal plants if the opportunity presents itself.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
year-round, peak in August-September
PREGNANCY DURATION
6-7 months
BABY CARRYING
1 infant
INDEPENDENT AGE
6-20 mos
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
infant

Black snub-nosed monkeys are polygynous, which means that one male gets an exclusive right to mating with multiple females. As a general rule, receptive females are the initiators of mating, announcing of their readiness through various signals and postures. These primates may breed year-round, however, the peak usually occurs between August and September. After the gestation period of 6 to 7 months, females give birth to a single infant. For the first few weeks after birth, the young are carried only by their mothers. At the age of 6 months, infants are able to obtain most of their food themselves, but mothers may still continue to nurse them for another 6 to 14 months. Males of this species are ready to mate at 7 years old, whereas females are mature by 4-5 years of age.

Population

Population threats

The main threats to Black snub-nosed monkeys include habitat loss caused mainly by logging and poaching. They are also often caught accidentally in snares that were set for hunting Musk deer.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Black snub-nosed monkey is less than 1,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are stable.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The Black snub-nosed monkey was almost completely unknown until the 1990s.
  • The Black snub-nosed monkey lives at the highest altitude of any known non-human primate. The highest recorded altitude of a group of this species is 4700 m.
  • Deciduous and coniferous forests are the preferred habitat of these monkeys because their primary food lichen grows there in abundance year-round. Lichens are toxic to most animals, but Black snub-nosed monkeys have specialized digestive enzymes similar to those of a cow that remove the harmful bacteria.

References

1. Black Snub-Nosed Monkey on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_snub-nosed_monkey
2. Black Snub-Nosed Monkey on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/19597/17943738

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