September 6, 2008
Endangered China Monkeys Double in Number
The number of endangered gray snub-nosed monkeys, found only in China's Guizhou province, has more than doubled to about 850, a government bureau says.
The population, which lives in Guizhou's 260-square-mile mountainous Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, has grown because of steady environmental improvements and governmental protection measures, the Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau said.
Back in 1979, there were just 400 gray snub-nosed simians, the bureau noted in a report carried by Xinua, China's official news agency.
The reserve, seeking to end more than a century of mining that depleted the forest on the mountains' northern slope, was established in 1978.
The monkey, on China's list of most-endangered wild animals, is the rarest among the three species of golden monkeys in China.
Since 1992, the bureau has successfully bred 16 of the monkeys, also known as Guizhou golden hair monkeys or gray golden hair monkeys, from seven captured in the wild, Xinhua reported.
The monkeys get their name from the short, stump of a nose on their round face, with nostrils arranged forward.
Primarily tree-dwellers, they inhabit mountain forests up to an altitude of two to three miles, in the winter moving into the deeply secluded regions.