Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 15th, 2010
Primatologist Ngwe Lwin took this photograph of a new snub-nosed monkey, in early 2010. It had been harvested for food in Myanmar.
Ngwe Lwin, a vigilant young Burmese conservationist, was lucky enough to come across a new species of snub-nosed monkey (photographed above with locals) in the Himalayan Mountains of Myanmar whilst taking part in primate surveys in early 2010. Hunters reported seeing a monkey that had prominent lips and wide, upturned nostrils—features unlike those of any snub-nosed species previously described. Because of its upturned nose, this new Mae Hka snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), has the entertaining trait of sneezing when it rains.
Using the cryptozoological method, interviewing hunters, Ngwe Lwin discovered that the species is limited to forests of the Maw River area, approximately 270 km2, with an estimated population of 260-330 individuals, low enough to be classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.
Ngwe Lwin asking local people for information about the little-known species
Ngwe Lwin demonstrating the use of GPS software
Ngwe Lwin photographing Myanmar snub-nosed monkey body parts on first learning about its existence.
The news of the new monkey was reported on October 26th, 2010, in the American Journal of Primatology. The find was made by biologists from the Myanmar Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association, and primatologists from Fauna and Flora International and the People Resources and Biodiversity Foundation. The new species, a previously unknown type of snub-nosed monkey, was dubbed Rhinopithecus strykeri.