Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Rhinopithecus avunculus
There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Rhinopithecus avunculus
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2003Critically Endangered(IUCN 2003)
- 2003Critically Endangered
- 2000Critically Endangered
- 1996Critically Endangered
- 1996Critically Endangered(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
- 1994Endangered(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Endangered(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Endangered(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
Although this species is not usually targeted for bushmeat hunting due to its "foul-taste", it is shot when encountered, and consumed or used in traditional "medicine" (Le and Boonratana 2006; Nadler et al. 2003). It has been found in trade in China, where it may be used for "medicinal" purposes (Nadler pers. comm.), although this is likely to be limited. There is a high hunting pressure in the area where it lives, as evidenced by several gunshots heard almost daily during field trips (2004-2005) in the Na Hang Nature Reserve (Le and Boonratana 2006). Shifting and settled cultivation, as well as other land development activities, also pose a threat (Le and Boonratana 2006; Nadler et al. 2003). In the past, excessively intense and unsustainable legal and illegal logging and gold mining were the biggest threats. Recently, the development of a hydroelectric power project along the Gam River in Na Hang has caused large areas of its habitat to come under construction (Le and Boonratana 2006; Nadler et al. 2003). Also, sudden increases in human populations, especially construction workers, have led to increased demand for meat, and thus increased hunting pressure (Le and Boonratana 2006).
Nadler et al (2003) recommended the following conservation actions to preserve this species in Viet Nam: undertaking of further field status surveys; expansion of the protected area network and improvement of protected area management; mitigation of impacts from dam construction; and other options for conservation, including assessments of its behavior, diet, and ecological relationships in order to support a captive breeding program, and planning for subsequent release into a suitably designed, well-protected natural areas which can support it. Subsequent to these recommendations, the results of a stakeholder consensus workshop proposed: establishment of a species and habitat protection program; long-term monitoring program; long-term field studies on behavioral ecology; surveys; expansion of protected habitats; strengthening of protected area management; public awareness and conservation education; participation of stakeholder communities; relocation of stakeholder communities; and implementation of recommendations (Le and Boonratana 2006).
An important conservation measure is the establishment of a species habitat/conservation area for Khau Ca Conservation Area in Ha Giang Province. Strict law enforcement is needed wherever the species still survives (Boonratana and Le 1998).
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey or Dollman's snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) is a critically endangered, slender-bodied arboreal colobine, endemic to northern Vietnam. Recorded at elevations between 200 to 1,200 m, its distribution is currently restricted to small fragmented tropical evergreen forests associated with steep karst limestone hills and mountains. Five isolated extant populations have been identified since its rediscovery in 1992. Despite heralded as a flagship species and subsequently receiving international attention and conservation actions, the population trend remains on the decline; therefore causing it to be continuously listed as one of "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates." since the first global non-human primate biennial assessment began in 2001.
Habitat loss and hunting are some of the major causes for declines of naturally occurring populations of non-human primates, including the Tonkin Snub-nosed monkey. Decades of expanding human population and increasing demands for scarce agriculturally viable lands have led to the loss and fragmentation of the monkey's habitats. However, habitats of known Tonkin snub-nosed monkey populations were long lost and fragmented prior to their rediscovery. A pioneering study in 1993, in Na Hang Nature Reserve, obtained a population count of 72 individuals (estimated 80), and a subsequent study at the same site in 2005 obtained a population count of 17 individuals (estimated 22). Evidenced by both primary and secondary data, the population decline within that 13-year period can only be attributed to hunting activities.
Sightings of the monkey have become increasingly rare. The primate was thought to be extinct until the 1990s, when a small population was discovered in Na Hang District in Tuyên Quang Province of Vietnam. Heavy poaching for food as well as the wildlife black market and the destruction of habitat are the main reasons why the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is considered one of the planet's most critically endangered primate species[clarification needed]. By 2008, when a small population with three infants was discovered in a remote forest, fewer than 250 of the primates were thought to exist. In December of 2013, Fauna & Flora international released the result of a population survey conducted between September and October of that year in the Khau Ca Species and Habitat Conservation Area, Ha Giang province, Vietnam. The survey identified between 108-113 individuals alive in the conservation zone, nearly half of the standing estimate for world population and the highest number at the site since populations began to be monitored.  Researchers took this as an encouraging sign that conservation efforts were making an impact on the species' steeply declining numbers.
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is diurnal and its diet consists of a range of leaves, fruits, flowers and seeds. Detailed information on this species can be found on Arkive.org and Alltheworldsprimates.org
- Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 173. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
- Xuan Canh, L., Khac Quyet, L., Thanh Hai, D. & Boonratana, R. (2008). Rhinopithecus avunculus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
- Ramesh, Boonratana (18–22 March 2013). "The Tonkin Snub-nosed monkey of Vietnam: a singking flagship?". ATBC Asia-Pacific Chapter, Banda Aceh.
- Mittermeier, R.A.; Wallis, J.; Rylands, A.B.; Ganzhorn, J.U.; Oates, J.F.; Williamson, E.A.; Palacios, E.; Heymann, E.W.; Kierulff, M.C.M.; Long Yongcheng; Supriatna, J.; Roos, C.; Walker, S.; Cortés-Ortiz, L.; Schwitzer, C., eds. (2009). Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008–2010 (PDF). Illustrated by S.D. Nash. Arlington, Virginia.: IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG), International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI). pp. 1–92. ISBN 978-1-934151-34-1.
- snub nosed monkeys
- "Glimmer of hope for rare monkey" (BBC News), 7 December 2008
-  (Phys.org), 10 December 2013