China builds protection network for Yunnan golden hair monkeys

Southwest China’s Yunnan Province announced on Monday the establishment of a protection network for the province’s golden hair monkeys, also known as the black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys.

The network is the province’s first wildlife safety network and will be managed by both the local government and the private sector.

“Protecting the Yunnan golden hair monkeys and their habitats is of strategic significance for the conservation of global biodiversity and maintaining inter-regional species and ecological balance,” said Xiao Wen, head of the Institute of Eastern-Himalaya Biodiversity Research of Dali University.

The monkeys live in the mountainous forests in Yunnan and neighboring Tibet Autonomous Region, with most in the Baima Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve.

As one of the world’s most endangered primates, the monkey is considered a bellwether species for biodiversity in the high-altitude region.

Local poachers drove them close to extinction in the 1980s, but their number has since risen above 3,500 nationally thanks to the joint efforts of government, researchers and local villagers.