Golden Monkey or Snub-nosed Monkey

Chinese Golden Monkey (Pygathrix roxellana or Rhinopithecus roxellana)

Golden snub-nosed monkey Pygathrix roxellana Pygathrix (Rhinopithecus) roxellana, Chinese ... / ©: WWF / Helmut DILLER
Golden snub-nosed monkey Pygathrix roxellana Pygathrix (Rhinopithecus) roxellana, Chinese snub-nosed monkey
© WWF / Helmut DILLER
The takins are not the only golden-haired creatures of the Qinling Mountains. There is also a monkey with a tiny nose and many different names, including 2 Latin ones!

The Chinese golden monkey (Pygathrix roxellana or Rhinopithecus roxellana) is variously called the golden snub-nosed monkey or Sichuan snub-nosed monkey. Whatever its name, these monkeys are famed for their fur and therefore highly prized.

“They are about 60-70cm tall,” says Li Ning, “and when I first saw one, I was surprised to see that their hair was so long. It really hangs over their shoulder so when they jump from tree to tree, it looks like they have wings!”

Golden monkeys live in large groups, sometimes 600 strong. Nevertheless, their numbers are seriously endangered by hunting and clearing of forests.

Size Golden Monkeys vary in length between 57 and 76cm with a tail of up to 72cm long.
Colour As their name suggests, golden monkeys have soft golden fur. They also have a naked blue face and matching blue genitals.
Habitat Largely in trees, although golden monkeys also spend a great deal of time on the ground. 
Diet Golden monkeys live in a harsh environment so they have adapted to a varied diet, ranging from tree leaves, pine and fir needles, bamboo shoots, buds, fruits, lichens, tree bark, insects, worms, small birds and their eggs.  
Breeding Female golden monkeys mature at about 4-5 years and produce 1 young after around 7-8 months gestation. 
Behaviour They live in very large groups of up to 600, splitting into bands of 60-70 in the winter. Males and females make different calls, while it is known that members of the same group sing together!
Interesting fact Local people have long believed that golden monkey fur wards off rheumatism and in the past, only Manchurian officials were allowed to wear coats made of their pelts.  

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