Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wild for Wildlife and Nature
Tucked high in the Qin Ling Mountains of central China, a nimble primate with a peculiar mug has conquered a pitiless landscape. The golden snub-nosed monkey is one of five related species—remnants of once widespread populations whose ranges were squeezed by climate change after the last ice age.
Enduring groups, living in territorial bands that can top 400 animals, are being squeezed again by logging, human settlement, and hunters wanting meat, bones (said to have medicinal properties), and luxurious fur. Many have been pushed into high-altitude isolation, where they leap across branches, traverse icy rivers, and weather long winters at nearly 10,000 feet, shielded by that coveted coat.