Thursday, December 23, 2010

Proboscis Monkey

The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is a species of Old world monkey found in Borneo.  They are arboreal and will only come down from tree tops to search for food.  They are endangered due to loss of habitat.

Physical Features                                                      
The nose of a proboscis monkey
The proboscis monkey is well known for its long nose.  It got its name from the long nose it has, which can grow about 7.5 cm.  Males are larger than female.  Males can weigh about 25 kilograms.  Generally, adults can measure about 70 cm (28inches) from nose to tail.  Females also have a large nose as compared to other species of monkeys but males have larger ones.  Males use their large nose to attract females during mating season.   When agitated, the nose of these monkeys swell with blood.  Adult proboscis monkeys have reddish brown fur and grayish limbs while young ones have a blue face ad blackish fur with a normal sized nose.

The proboscis monkey is an omnivore.  If it needs to eat a  fruit, it will only eat and unripe one as the sugar in ripe fruits is not good for its digestive system and therefore can be fatal.  Their diet consists of seeds, fruits, leaves, mangrove shoots and insects.

The proboscis monkey is arboreal and can even swim very well.  They swim from island to island.  While swimming, they keep their body upright and carry their young ones on their hips.  Proboscis monkeys live in groups called bands.  There are many troops seen walking upright continuously.

Distribution and Habitat
The proboscis monkey is only found on the island of Borneo.  They live in mangrove forests, riparian lowland forests and swamps.

Conservation Status
The proboscis monkey is rated as endangered by the IUCN.  It is believed that there are only 1000 individuals left.  Its numbers have decreased due to habitat loss and hunting.  In 1977, there were about 6500 individuals.  That population decreased to about 1000 in 2006.  They are currently protected by law and are found in 16 different wildlife sanctuaries.  These sanctuaries are:Gunung Pueh Forest Reserve, Gunung Palung National Park, Kendawangan Nature Reserve, Kutai National Park, Lesan Protection Forest, Muara Kaman Nature Reserve, Mandor Reserve, and Tanjung Putting National Park in Indonesia; Bako National Park,Danau Sentarum National Park , Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, Klias National Park, Kulamba Wildlife Reserve, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sungei Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary and Ulu Segama Reserve in Malaysia.

Source of picture 1:

Source of picture 2: 

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