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New Monkey Species Discovered In Myanmar

New Monkey Species Discovered In Myanmar

Primatologists have discovered a new species of monkey living in a remote forested region of northern Myanmar (Burma) which is under threat from logging and a Chinese dam project.

The research, published in the American Journal of Primatology, describes the monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri) as having almost entirely blackish fur with white fur only on ear tufts, chin beard and perineal area. It also has a relatively long tail, approximately 140 percent of its body size.

Scientists were alerted to the monkey’s presence by hunters who said it was easy to find in the rain because its upturned nostrils made it prone to sneezing when water dripped in.

Sightings were reported from the eastern Himalayas to the northeastern Kachin state leading the team to conduct field surveys which led to the discovery of a small population of a new species which displays characteristics unlike any other snub-nosed species previously described.

Although the species is new to science, the local people are very familiar with it. Locals told scientists that to avoid getting rainwater in their noses the monkeys spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees.

Unfortunately, the future of the mey nwoah, or ‘monkey with an upturned face’ is quite uncertain.

Scientists estimate that there are between 260 and 330 of the monkeys living in an area of about 270 sq km (100 sq miles). The area is being developed by China Power Investment Corp. as a new dam site, and many fear that construction and logging roads invading the area could negatively affect the critically endangered species.

Frank Momberg, of Fauna and Flora International and a co-author of the study, said that the company has an economic interest in preserving the forested region where the monkeys live.

“More roads and logging would cause erosion around the watershed that could clog up the new reservoir with silt, reducing power generation, he said.”

Related:
Top 10 New Species
UN Calls to Reverse Man-Made Extinction
Millions of World’s Species Still Undiscovered, Study Says
10 Most Threatened Animal Species

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

66 comments

+ add your own
8:57AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

thanks

2:45AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

唉呀~好美麗的新物種~~感謝您的分享!!`

8:16AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

Awesome!!! Hope we find more before the greed of humans destroy it all.

5:43AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

Increible que a estas alturas de la vida aun existan especies por descubrir... que maravilloso es el mundo!

1:49PM PST on Nov 9, 2010

Interesting species. :-)

4:54AM PST on Nov 9, 2010

this could be the missing link.

6:58AM PST on Nov 8, 2010

It is always worrisome when western culture 'discovers' something. Unhappiness often follows discovery and study.I disagree with the idea of bringing any non-human to America and stick in a zoo to breed. We have been, for a lot of the history of zoos, irresponsible in our care of our relatives. These beings are at home in their own place. They are at peace there within the web of life. Our task is to wake up to what we are doing to the planetary web and work hard to protect this species home and the homes of all others.

9:00AM PST on Nov 7, 2010

we should be keeping this monkeys homeland safe and not chopping it down logging etc for people

3:21AM PST on Nov 7, 2010

What a beautiful animal! What do we know about the unfathomable depth of the flora and fauna of this planet! Each moment we hear about a surprise discovery and due to our greed and ignorance we loose each one of them in the long run! Instead of playing God and saviors , why not we take the policy of LIVE and LET LIVE .Kindness,care and sympathy go a long way, in the right path.

11:18PM PDT on Nov 6, 2010

To Marilyn Diane,
Sorry to say I disagree with your idea or capturing them to bring to America for breeding. Then they may be "safe" but not happy. Wild animals should stay in the wild.

Do you really think it would solve the problem of possible extinctions of, not only this particular monkey but many other species in the same location and habitat?

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