Scientists find monkey long believed extinct in Indonesian jungles
cientists working in the dense jungles of Indonesia have “rediscovered” a large, gray monkey so rare it was believed by many to be extinct.
They were all the more baffled to find the Miller’s Grizzled Langur — its black face framed by a fluffy, Dracula-esque white collar — in an area well outside its previously recorded home range.
The team set up camera traps in the Wehea Forest on the eastern tip of Borneo island in June, hoping to captures images of clouded leopards, orangutans and other wildlife known to congregate at several mineral salt licks.
The pictures that came back caught them all by surprise: groups of monkeys none had ever seen.
With virtually no photographs of the grizzled langurs in existence, it at first was a challenge to confirm their suspicions, said Brent Loken, a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and one of the lead researchers.
The only images out there were museum sketches.
“We were all pretty ecstatic, the fact that, wow, this monkey still lives, and also that it’s in Wehea,” said Loken.
The monkey, which has hooded eyes and a pinkish nose and lips, once roamed the northeastern part of Borneo, as well as the islands of Sumatra and Java and the Thai-Malay peninsula. But concerns were voiced several years ago that they may be extinct.
Forests where the monkeys once lived had been destroyed by fires, human encroachment and conversion of land for agriculture and mining and an extensive field survey in 2005 turned up empty.
“For me the discovery of this monkey is representative of so many species in Indonesia,” Loken told The Associated Press by telephone.