A glimpse of hope for rare monkey

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The Independent Online

A new population of one of the world's rarest creatures, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, has been found in the forests of northern Vietnam.

Believed to be extinct until the late 1980s, only around 200 are left and, as a result, they are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Rhinopithecus avunculus is now known to be present in just two of Vietnam's northern-most provinces – Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang. The latest discovery was made after researchers from the British conservation charity Fauna and Flora International interviewed villagers in the Tung Vai Commune, near the Chinese border. At least 15 of the monkeys, including three infants, have now been spotted in the nearby forest. Le Khac Quyet, a conservation biologist who took the picture, right, said: "When I saw the Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys in Tung Vai Commune I was overjoyed.

"There is still time to save this unique species, but with just 200 or so left and threats still strong, we need to act now."