A decade-long field investigation on Brelich's snub-nosed monkey showed the population of this rare species in China only numbers 750, even less than the giant panda, an endangered species native to China.
The total number of giant pandas in the wild is about 1,000, which mainly live in the mountains in the Sichuan basin in southwest China. About 140 of the animals live in captivity.
There are currently three species of golden monkey in southwest China's Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces respectively. The species living in Guizhou got the name of Brelich's snub-nosed monkey.
The Brelich's snub-nosed monkey is the rarest of the three species due to its small population. The monkey has a blue round face with small ears and a thick lip. Its hairs are golden and grey in color.
Chinese scientists found through the investigation that the Brelich's snub-nosed monkeys are divided into 25 clans. They scatter in an area of 1.2 square kilometers at the Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve, which occupies an area of 2,60 hectares in northeast Guizhou.
Yang Yeqin, director of the Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve, said, "Having a good understanding of the population and habitat of the Brelich's snub-nosed monkey is of great significance to protecting this rare species and studying its hereditary feature."
(Xinhua News Agency February 16, 2004)