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2 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Face-to-face with Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys

BY LIU JIA
Face-to-face with Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys
A ranger in the nature reserve was feeding Yunnan snub-nosed mounkeys. Photo by Yang Zheng

At half past six every morning, Xiangguqing Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park in Tacheng Town, Weixi County, wakes up. Park ranger Yu Wenguang blows a whistle to wake up the Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys while sprinkling feed made from lichen. Dozens of snub-nosed monkeys storm down from the woods and rush to eat their favourite food.

In Xiangguqing, there are a total of 28 Lisu minority monkey rangers like Yu Wenguang. All of them are from three villages at the foot of the mountain. Three years ago, in order to protect Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, which are a nationally protected animal species, some Lisu villagers formed a group of rangers to feed and take care of these rare animals. The work also won the support of the Baima Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve.

As a rare animal species unique to China, Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys now live where the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet meet. This area comprises the Yunling Mountains—a spur of the Hengduan Mountain system on the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Baima Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve is located in Deqin and Weixi counties. This part of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture sits in northwestern Yunnan province, and is the largest national nature reserve for snub-nosed monkeys in China. In recent years, as environmental protection continues to improve, the number of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the nature reserve has been on the rise. People can come into close contact with these “mountain elves” with beautiful red lips and human-like faces at the top of the snow-capped mountains in Shangri-La.

After the establishment of the nature reserve, the state’s emphasis and commitment has greatly improved forest cover. Poaching has basically been eliminated there. Moreover, the nature reserve has established protection stations at multiple levels that are seen everywhere in the depths of the mountain, according to Xie Hongfang, administrative director of the nature reserve.

After years of hard work, people have won the trust of snub-nosed monkeys. In the past, the animals would run away at the first sight of humans, while now they sit quietly and observe. He Xinming, a staff member at the nature reserve’s Weixi station on, said with a smile, “Five years ago, it was almost impossible to take a close-up photograph of the monkeys. They were so alert that they would run away as soon as they saw you.” Now, a large number of monkeys come near human beings to look for food, and the rangers often have close contact with them.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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