Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Rhinopithecus roxellana
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1870)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey
Taxonomic Notes: The three presently recognized subspecies differ from one another mainly in tail length, as well as in certain features of skeletal structure and width of dental arch (Groves 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2ac ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Yongcheng, L. & Richardson, M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
The species is listed as Endangered as there has been a decline of over 50% in the last 3 generations (approximately 40 years) due to forest loss. This decline is continuing, though in some areas the populations are declining at a lower rate.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (V)
1990 Vulnerable (V)
1988 Vulnerable (V)
1986 Rare (R)
1965 Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in west-central China (Ganssu, Hubei, Shaanxi, and Sichuan provinces) (Groves 2001).

Rhinopithecus roxellana roxellana
Occurs in western Sichuan (Qingchuan, Pingwu, Songpan, Beichuan, Nanping, Maoxian, Heishui, Wenchuan, Baoxing, Tianquan, Lushan, Luding counties, on Qionglaishan Mountain, Mingshan Mountain, Daxiangling and Xiaoxiangling Mountain), southern Gansu (Wenxian county in Mingshan Mountain) and southern Shaanxi (Ningqian country) (L. Yongcheng pers. comm.).

Rhinopithecus roxellana qinlingensis
Occurs in southern Shaanxi (Qinling Mountains, including the counties of Taibai, Zhouzhi, Foping, Yangxian, Ningshaan) (Wang et al. 1998; Li et al. 2001).

Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis
Occurs in western Hubei and northeastern Sichuan (Shennongjia forest region of Daba Mountain, in Fangxian, Xingshan, and Batong counties) (Wang et al. 1998; Li unpubli. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
China (Gansu, Hubei, Shanxi, Sichuan)
Lower elevation limit (metres):1400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Rhinopithecus roxellana roxellana
There are about 10,000 individuals in 100 troops in Sichuan (6,000 individuals in Mingshan Mountain, 3,500 in Qionglaishan Mountain, and 500 in Daxiangling and Xiaoxianling Mountain), about 800 individuals in 8 troops in Gansu, and about 170-200 individuals in 1 or 2 troops in Shaanxi (Zhang 1995; Jiang 2005; Li unpubl. 2006).

Rhinopithecus roxellana qinlingensis
There are approximately 3,800-4,000 total individuals belonging to 39 troops (Li et al. 2001). Around half of these are mature individuals. Since the mid 1990s, the population appears to have stabilized.

Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis
There are about 600-1,000 individuals in 5-6 troops (Ren et al. 1998).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found only in montane forests where snow cover can last for up to six months of the year (Allen 1938; Davison 1982). In the Qinling Mountains it is found in mixed deciduous-broadleaf forests from 1,400 to 2,800 m (Gao and Liu 1995; Li et al. 2001). It can also occur in other forest types, including mixed conifer-broadleaf and deciduous broadleaf. Rhinopithecus roxellana roxellana and Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis are found more often in mixed conifer and deciduous broadleaf forests. It is semi-terrestrial, diurnal, and folivorous, but will also eat seeds, fruit, bark, insects, and small vertebrates.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Rhinopithecus roxellana
The major threat for the species is forest loss due to agricultural expansion, especially outside of protected areas.

Rhinopithecus roxellana roxellana
The major threat is habitat loss. Secondarily, there is a serious threat from continued illegal hunting of this subspecies. There is also harassment owing to tourist activities, including the herding of troops for tourists to view.

Rhinopithecus roxellana qinlingensis
In the Qinling Mountains tourism is having a significant negative impact, mainly due to the creation of roads and other infrastructure. Before 1990, there were threats from illegal hunting, but this has stopped due to increased government protection.

Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis
There is a serious threat to this subspecies from tourism-related activities, along with continued habitat loss. Before 1990, there were threats from illegal hunting, but this has stopped due to increased government protection.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix I, and as Category I of the Chinese Wildlife Protection Act, 1989.
Protected areas where this species definitely known to occur include: Baihe Nature Reserve, Changqing Nature Reserve, Foping Nature Reserve, Laoxiancheng Nature Reserve, Shennongjia Nature Reserve, Taibai Nature Reserve, Wanglang Nature Reserve, Zhouzhi Nature Reserve (M. Richardson pers. comm.), although according to L. Yongcheng (pers. comm.) it is to be found in a much larger number of nature reserves. It is almost never seen in captivity outside of Asia (M. Richardson pers. comm.).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.M. 1938. The mammals of China and Mongolia Part I. Natural History of Central China, pp. 1-620. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

Davison, G. W. H. 1982. Convergence with terrestrial Cercopithecines by the monkey Rhinopithecus roxellanae. Folia Primatologica 37: 209-215.

Gao, Y. and Liu, S. 1995. Physiological adaptations of golden monkeys to high altitude habitat in the Qinling mountains. Asian Primates 51(1-2): 17-19.

Groves, C. P. 2001. Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Jiang, Z. 2005. Biodiversity of the Qingmuchuan Nature Reserve, Shaanxi, China. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, China.

Kirkpatrick, R., Gu, H. G. and Zhou, X. P. 1999. A preliminary report on Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) at Baihe Nature Reserve. Folia Primatologica 70(2): 117–120.

Li, B., Chen, C., Ji, W. and Ren, B. 2000. Seasonal home range changes of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in the Qinling Mountains of China. Folia Primatologica 71(6): 375-386.

Li, B., He, P., Yang, X., Wei, W., Ren, B., Yang, J., Si, K. and Liu, Y. 2001. The present status of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey in the Qinling Mountains of China, and a proposed conservation strategy for the species. Biosphere Conservation 3(2): 107-114.

Li, Y. 2001. The seasonal diet of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Shennongjia Nature Reserve, China. Folia Primatologica 72(1): 40 – 43.

Li, Y. 2004. The effect of forest clear-cutting on habitat use in Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Shennongjia Nature Reserve, China. Primates 45(1): 69 – 72.

Ren, R. M., Su, Y., Yan, K. H., Li, J. J., Zhou, Y., Zhu, Z. Q., Hu, Z. L. and Hu, Y. F. 1998. Preliminary survey of the social organization of Rhinopithecus [Rhinopithecus] roxellana in Shennongjia National Natural Reserve, Hubei, China. In: N. G. Jablonski (ed.), The Natural History of the Doucs and Snub-nosed Monkeys, pp. 269-277. World Scientific Publishing Co. Ltd., Singapore.

Wang Y., Jiang X. and Lid D. 1998. Classificaiton and distribution of the extant subspecies of golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana). In: N. G. Jablonski (ed.), The Natural History of the Doucs and Snub-nosed Monkeys, pp. 53–64. World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore.

Zhang, T. 1995. Population and conservation of the snub-nosed monkey on the northern slope of the Qin Rause, Gansu, China. In: W. Xia and Y. Zhang (eds), Primate research and Conservation, pp. 138-142. Forestry Publishing House, Beijing, China.

Citation: Yongcheng, L. & Richardson, M. 2008. Rhinopithecus roxellana. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19596A8985735. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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