Photo Courtesy of SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations
A monkey believed to be extinct has been rediscovered in the Borneo rainforest after having thought to have been wiped out since 2004. The rare and elusive Miller’s Grizzled Langur (Presbytis hosei canicrus) was found alive by a group of international scientists on a new expedition. It is one of the rarest and least known primates in the world, with a distinctive dark face and white, Dracula-like ‘collar’ of fur.
While findings of this primate are promising, it still remains one of the world’s most endangered primates. The rare monkey was discovered living in the Wehea Forest, East Kalimantan, Borneo, a largely undisturbed rainforest where it was not previously known to even exist. The team was surprised to find the monkey living in the Wehea Forest as this is outside of its known range. The primate was spotted via camera traps that had been set up at a mineral lick where animals congregate.
Brent Loken, from Simon Fraser University in Canada states: “I believe it is a race against time to protect many species in Borneo. It is difficult to adopt conservation strategies to protect species when we don’t even know the extent of where they live.”
The Miller’s Grizzled Langur is part of the small primate genus Presbytis, which are found in rainforests across Borneo, Sumatra, Java and the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Within Borneo, the Grizzled Langur was found by the team in only a small corner of the county’s north east as its habitat has suffered from forest fires, human habitation and conversion of land for agriculture and mining.
Future research will focus on estimating the population density for the Grizzled Langur in Wehea and the surrounding forest. East Kalimantan is a challenging area to conduct research due to the remoteness of the remaining forested areas. It is therefore not surprising that so little is known about Miller’s Grizzled Langur.
Frontier hosts a number of wildlife conservation projects where you can volunteer to help conserve endangered species like Miller’s Grizzled Langur.
By Lea Fraenkl