Photo courtesy of © Yin Yan


Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.

Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.

Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys live between N’mai Hka River and Salween River in Kashin State at the border of Myanmar and China. In addition, 10 known groups live on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong mountain range toward the Salween River in China. Of those groups, three regularly travel between Myanmar and China. All live at altitudes between 8,500 and 10,000 ft (2600-3100 m).

  • The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey was discovered in 2010 and identified as a distinct species in 2011
  • Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys can be distinguished from other snub-nosed monkeys by their entirely black or blackish-brown pelage; their light pink faces contrast strikingly to their dark bodies
  • When it rains, Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys are said to sit with their heads tucked face down between their knees to avoid getting rainwater into their noses; when it happens, they sneeze loudly
  • Estimated population: 260-330 individuals
They are at an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild.

Hunting has always been a threat for Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys. They are sought after for their fur, meat, bones, and brains. Even when they may not be the main targets, the monkeys can get caught in iron traps set for bears. The problem is exacerbated because hunting methods have dramatically evolved, from bows and homemade powder guns to factory-made shotguns.

The human population has exploded over the last twenty years. Human-induced stress on the environment, the forest, and its products (timber, medicinal plants, bark, scented woods, and maple trees) is therefore increasing. Consequently, the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey’s habitat is threatened by increased road construction and the expansion of logging activities. Forest fragmentation causes species populations to be separated and makes them less adaptable and more vulnerable to climate changes, diseases, and other disruptions.

  1. Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys are wild animals. They are adapted to live at very high altitudes. Their environmental and dietary needs cannot be adequately met or replicated in human living conditions. 
  2. To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
  3. When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
  4. Trade in Critically Endangered species is illegal.
  5. Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild. 
  6. Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
  7. Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
  8. Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys belong with other snub-nosed monkeys in the mountains of Myanmar and China. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.

Visit the MYANMAR SNUB-NOSED MONKEY Primate Species Profile

 Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2019. You may freely use and share these learning activities for educational purposes. 
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected].