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This new species is almost extinct2 min read

November 11, 2020 2 min read

This new species is almost extinct2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Scientists have recently discovered a new type of monkey in Myanmar. Known for the characteristic white circles around its eyes, the Popa Langur lives in the volcano of Mount Popa. But there’s one problem. This monkey is already critically endangered and there’s less than 250 of them left in the whole world!

How is this possible?

After extensive study on the genetics of langurs, and comparing to the remains of a specimen collected over 100 years ago at the London National History Museum, scientists discovered a new species of langur that is particular to the area around Popa in Myanmar. This way, the Popa Langur finally found its spot in the langur family tree.

Popa Langur. Photo: BBC

Owliver’s Obscure Observations: Mount Popa is an extinct volcano that’s now a protected and rich wildlife sanctuary and a sacred site.

These langurs live in isolated populations all over central Myanmar and their numbers are already dwindling due to habitat loss and hunting. And since the Popa Langur is a newly-discovered species related to the already-endangered Phayre’s Langur (which is found across South East Asia), it is already on the critical list.

There is hope, however, because the largest population of these monkeys live on sacred, protected grounds. And hopefully, this will protect them from extinction.

Think with Owliver:

  1. Why are langurs hunted?
  2. What role do humans play in their habitat loss?
  3. What can we do to save their population?