Photo credit: ©markindo/iNaturalist/Creative Commons

​Also known as the PIG-TAILED LANGUR or SIMAKOBU monkey

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.

Endemic to Indonesia, the pig-tailed snub-nosed langur is found only on the archipelago of Mentawai off the western coast of Sumatra. Interspersed through the islands of Siberut, Sipora, North Pagai, and South Pagai, and through a few offshore islets, these monkeys make their homes on the hillsides of primary forests within the islands’ interior regions.

  • One of the world’s 25 most endangered primate species, hunting has taken and continues to take a grim toll on pig-tailed snub-nosed langur populations
  • New logging roads provide hunters, along with their high-caliber rifles, with access to the monkeys’ habitats
  • Pig-tailed snub-nosed langur meat is regarded as a delicacy, and entire groups can be eliminated in a single hunt
This means that there is an extremely high risk that they could become extinct in the wild.

Scientists estimate the total pig-tailed snub-nosed langur population at 6,700 to 17,300 individuals, an alarming decline from an estimated population of 26,000 in 1980. This population continues to plummet; a 90-percent decline over 10 years has been predicted for the species, unless serious conservation actions are taken.

Hunting has taken a devastating toll on all pig-tailed snub-nosed langurs. On the islands of North Pagai and South Pagai, the main range of pig-tailed snub-nosed langurs, twice as many individuals are killed by hunters each year as are born.

Extensive habitat loss throughout the monkeys’ range also threatens their future. In addition to commercial logging operations, forestland has been razed for agricultural use and also converted to palm oil plantations, a death knell for so many species. Human settlements have also encroached upon the monkeys’ habitat.

  1. Pig-tailed snub-nosed langurs are wild animals. Their diet and environmental 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. Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild. 
  5. 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.
  6. Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
  7. Pig-tailed snub-nosed langurs belong with other langurs in the archipelago of Mentawai off the western coast of Sumatra. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.
  8. Trade in Critically Endangered species illegal. 

Visit the PIG-TAILED SNUB-NOSED LANGUR Primate Species Profile

 Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2019. You may freely use and share these learning activities for educational purposes. 
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