Primate Info Net Banner Wisconsin PRC Logo
PIN Home > About the Primates > Primate Factsheets > Rhinopithecus roxellana

Golden snub-nosed monkey
Rhinopithecus roxellana


CITES: Appendix I (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: R. roxellana: EN (What is Red List?)
Key: EN = Endangered
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Rhinopithecus roxellana
Photo: Cyril Grueter

The Chinese government has enacted a number of protective laws, established reserves and made the golden snub-nosed monkey a conservation priority (Kirkpatrick 1995; Ren et al. 1996/1997). This has resulted in a large proportion of the extant population being located within reserves (Ren et al. 1996/1997). In addition, the species is sympatric with the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and often benefits from reserves dedicated to panda protection (Kirkpatrick 1995; Ren et al. 1996/1997). While protected now, it is clear that the formerly widespread Rhinopithecus genus has already lost the majority of its populations in the last 400 years due to human expansion, wars, habitat destruction, and hunting (Li et al. 2002a).


Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation

Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats to the golden snub-nosed monkey (Li et al. 2002a; 2002b). Commercial logging represents a clear threat to species as it destroys their habitat, causes them to move elsewhere and alters their ecology (Kirkpatrick 1995; Li et al. 1999). Even the sound of chainsaws and other logging machinery disturbs the species (Li et al. 1999). In addition, local residents also contribute to habitat deforestation by selling firewood in markets as well as using it for cooking and other household uses (Li et al. 2002a). Forests are also often cleared for agriculture and pastoralism (Wang 1998). Even logging of dead wood adversely affects the golden snub-nosed monkey as the species prefers dead trees as sources of lichens (Li 2006). Finally, as primary forest is their preferred habitat, preserving it should be a conservation priority. Thus, deforestation can significantly threaten the species and should be controlled (Li 2004).

Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)

Hunting has also been called a significant threat to the species (Wang 1998). In some regions however, local residents will only occasionally hunt and eat the monkeys illegally, with monkey meat not being a significant portion of diets (Kirkpatrick 1995; Li et al. 2002a). Golden snub-nosed monkeys are also hunted for their fur and trapped by poachers (Kirkpatrick 1995; Zhang & Quan 1996). Also, while not the target of such devices, golden snub-nosed monkeys are sometimes killed in wire snares aimed at capturing musk deer (Zhang 1998).

Threat: Persecution

Golden snub-nosed monkeys do not crop raid and are not an economic liability for people living in proximity to them (Kirkpatrick 1995). This likely reduces persecution of the species.

Threat: Human Disturbance

Human activities, including tourism and related road-building, have altered the ranging patterns of some populations and thus represent a threat to the species (Su et al. 1998).





Content last modified: November 20, 2007

Written by Kurt Gron. Reviewed by Renmei Ren.

Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2007 November 20. Primate Factsheets: Golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2019 November 13.