Rhinopithecus bieti 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Rhinopithecus bieti Milne-Edwards, 1897
Common Name(s):
English Black Snub-nosed Monkey, Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey
Pygathrix roxellana ssp. bieti (Milne-Edwards, 1897)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Bleisch, W. & Richardson, M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Endangered as there are less than 1,000 mature individuals, and the species has likely declined by well over 20% in the last 2 generations (approximately 25 years).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs only in southwestern China (Tibet and Yunnan). It is found in fragmented populations in the Yun Ling Mountains in northwestern Yunnan and southeastern Tibet, west of the Yangtze River and east of the Mekong River (Yang 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):3000
Upper elevation limit (metres):4700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In 2006 the total known population was estimated at less than 2,000, with less than 1,000 mature individuals. There are currently 15 subpopulations, with 3 locations where subpopulations are known to have been extirpated since 1994 (L. Yongcheng pers. comm.). Although the remaining populations are well known, there are very likely to be as yet unsurveyed populations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in high-altitude evergreen forests, both the lower (about 3,000 m) and upper (about 4,700 m) limits of its known ranges (Long et al.. 1996) are the highest recorded for a primate. It prefers fir-larch forest between the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers (Long et al. 1994). At Bamei, in northern Yunnan Province, it was found to live primarily in cypress forests (Zhong et al. 1998).

It is mainly folivorous, though Kirkpatrick et al. (2001) report that lichens are also an important part of its diet in the northern part of its range. It is semi-terrestrial and diurnal (Wu and Xian 1994).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is hunting, often as a non-targeted species caught in snares set for musk deer. A preliminary PVA using Vortex found that five smallest subpopulations are at risk of declines and extinction in the next 100 years from effects inbreeding and poaching, while 5 largest subpopulations were considered more secure (Xiao et al. 2005). The species is also threatened by habitat loss, especially from logging. Since 1999, when a ban stopped most commercial logging in the region, habitat loss has slowed, but it is still a large potential threat in the future. Clearing of forest land for summer grazing pasture had decreased suitable habitat for the monkeys by 31% between 1958 and 1997 (Xiao et al. 2003). In addition, fires set for agriculture are a threat to some of the areas, particularly in Tibetan Autonomous Region. A subpopulation of about 50 individuals in one area was apparently extirpated due to pesticide spraying for control of forest pests (Zhong Tai in litt.)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix I. Most of the remaining populations are in protected areas, with only four groups found outside of them. There are currently 11 groups in protected areas: Hongla Snow Mountain Nature Reserve in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (which contains about 300 individuals), and Baima Snow Mountain and Laojun Mountain Nature Reserves in Yunnan.

There is a major focus in China on captive breeding of this species, with breeding pairs at the Kunming Zoo and Kunming Institute of Zoology. Most of these individuals are captured from the wild, and so far the program is not sustainable (Wang Sung pers. comm.).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
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
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ 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 -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not 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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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]

Ding, W. and Zhao, Q. 2004. Rhinopithecus bieti at Tacheng, Yunnan: diet and daytime activities. International Journal of Primatology 25(3): 583–598.

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

Kirkpatrick, R. and Long, Y. 1998. Altitudinal ranging and terrestriality in the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti). Folia Primatologica 63(2): 102–106.

Kirkpatrick, R. C., Long, Y. C., Zhong, T. and Xiao, L. 1998. Social organization and range use in the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus bieti. International Journal of Primatology 19(1): 13–51.

Kirkpatrick, R. C., Zou, R. J., Dierenfeld, E. S. and Zhou, H. W. 2001. Digestion of selected foods by Yunnan snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus bieti (Colobinae). American Journal Of Physical Anthropology 114(2): 156-162.

Li, Z., Ma, S. and Wang, Y. 1980. The distribution and habitat of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. Zoological Research 2: 9–16.

Long, Y.C., Kirkpatrick, C., Zhong, T. and Xiao, L. 1996. Status and conservation strategy of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. Chinese Biodiversity 4: 145-152.

Long, Y., Kirkpatrick, C. R., Zhongtai and Xiaolin. 1994. Report on the distribution, population and ecology of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti). Primates 35(2): 241 – 250.

Wu, B. and Xian, R. 1994. Significance of the particular locomotory behaviour of Yunnan snub-nosed langur (Rhinopithecus bieti) in northwestern Yunnan, China. In: B. Thierry, J. R. Anderson, J. Roeder and N. Herrenschmidt (eds), Current Primatology, Vol. I: Ecology and Evolution, pp. 211-214. University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg.

Xiao, W., Ding, W., Cui, L-W, Zhou, R-L. and Zhao, Q-K. 2003. Habitat degradation of Rhinopithecus bieti in Yunnan, China. International Journal of Primatology 24(2): 389–398.

Xiao, W., Huo, S., Xiang, Z. F. and Cui, L. W. 2005. A preliminary analysis on population viability for black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti). Zoological Research 26(1): 9-16.

Yang, D. 1988. Black snub-nosed monkeys in China. Oryx 22(1): 41–43.

Yang, S. 2003. Altitudinal Ranging of Rhinopithecus bieti at Jinsichang, Lijiang, China. Folia Primatologica 74: 88-91.

Zhao, Q. K., He, S. J., Wu, B. Q. and Nash, L. T. 1988. Excrement distribution and habitat use in Rhinopithecus bieti in winter. American Journal of Primatology 16: 275-284.

Zhong, T., Xiao, L., Kirkpatrick, R. C. and Long, Y. C. 1998. A brief report on Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus (r.) bieti, at Bamei in northern Yunnan province, China. Primate Conservation 18: 76–80.

Citation: Bleisch, W. & Richardson, M. 2008. Rhinopithecus bieti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19597A8986243. . Downloaded on 21 April 2018.
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