Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Genetic Study Sheds Light On Evolution and May Help Prevent Extinction of the Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey

ScienceDaily (May 23, 2012) — A team of scientists from the German Primate Center (DPZ), led by Dr Christian Roos, have completed genetic studies on all five snub-nosed monkey species, providing crucial information for the conservation of these rare primates.

The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, discovered by a team from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF) in 2010, has been of particular interest, given recent efforts in developing a conservation plan and protected areas within Myanmar, to ensure the survival of the species.

Previous scientific descriptions were based on information from Dr Thomas Geissmann's taxonomic description, but the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, or Rhinopithecus strykeri, is now confirmed as its own species.

Dr Christian Roos, with colleagues from Switzerland, USA, China, Myanmar and Vietnam analysed the DNA of all five snub-nosed monkey species currently known to science. The genetic material was isolated from faecal samples and skin fragments, cut out from museum exhibits. "We can indeed confirm that the Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey is a new species," says Christian Roos.

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