Here are the first ever photos of the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey. The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey is a new species to science, discovered in 2010 by a team of local and international conservationists in Northern Myanmar.
Camera traps caught these images of the monkeys in the high, forested mountains of Kachin state, bordering China.
The images, released January 10, were captured by a joint team from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Biodiversity And Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF).
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey was described scientifically in 2010 from a dead specimen collected from a local hunter. And although local people claim that these monkeys are easy to find in the rain, because they often get rainwater in their upturned noses, causing them to sneeze – no scientist has seen a live individual.
Heavy snows in January and constant rain in April made expeditions to set the camera traps difficult. Jeremy Holden, who led the camera trapping team, said:
We were dealing with very tough conditions in a remote and rugged area that contained perhaps fewer than 200 monkeys. We didn’t know exactly where they lived, and I didn’t hold out much hope of short term success with this work.
But in May a small group of snub-nosed monkeys walked past one of the cameras and into history.
Saw Soe Aung, a field biologist who set the cameras, said:
We were very surprised to get these pictures. It was exciting to see that some of the females were carrying babies – a new generation of our rarest primate.
As with most of Asia’s rare mammals, the snub-nosed monkey is threatened by habitat loss and hunting. The team is now working together with the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forest (MOECAF), local authorities and communities to help safeguard the future of the species.
Bottom line: In January, 2012, the first-ever photos of the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey were released. The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey is a new species to science, discovered in 2010 by a team of local and international conservationists in Northern Myanmar.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.