Conservation updates from Asia

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Spotted: Rare Cat Species Captured on Camera in Borneo – Yahoo News.

Cameras capture Sumatran rhino in Indonesian Borneo – Yahoo News.

Rhino Killing Spree Erupts in India :: ANNAMITICUS.

In Myanmar, Natural Resources Are Key to Conflict Resolution – Wildlife Conservation Society.

Tiger population grows in Nepal | The Upbeat – Yahoo! News.

Conservation Efforts Give Snow Leopards a Chance in Russia.

Malaysia’s ‘Lizard King’ back in business: report – Yahoo News.


Myanmar snub-nosed monkey

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It is amazing that in this day and age we are still discovering new species all the time. In fact,  scientists think we have not even discovered a quarter of the earth’s species. While we have already documented 1.7 million species they predict there could be as many as 8.7 million, give or take 1.3 million species. Most of these undiscovered species are likely plants and insects, however we still occasionally stumble upon relatively large animals that are completely new to science. The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey was one of these such cases.

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While science has known of snub-nosed monkeys from other areas of the world for a long time, the Myanmar monkeys were not “discovered” until 2010. That is to say they were unknown to the scientific community. Local people had been hunting and eating them for generations. Locals claim they are easiest to hunt during rain storms as the rain will run into their nostrils and force them to sneeze, giving away their position.Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 12.13.59 PM

In May of 2012 it was announced that a second population of these monkeys was discovered in China along China’s border with Myanmar.With only 260-330 individuals in the original population and an estimated 50-100 in the China population this species was immediately listed on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered. Along with sustenance hunting by the local people these unique monkeys are under increasing threat as their habitat is threatened by logging.

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Since the beginning of 2011 initiatives have been put in place to conserve this newly discovered species. Camera traps have been placed throughout their range to monitor the health of the population. There are also NGOs (non-government organizations) which are working with the indigenous people to find alternative livelihoods to support themselves without putting further pressure on the monkeys and this important ecosystem.