Friday, June 20, 2008

Proboscis monkey - Nasalis larvatus at Bako National Park

I only have a video clip of Proboscis monkey found at Telok Paku in Bako National Park, Kuching. Since the Proboscis Monkey was perched high up on the tree canopy, I could not get a proper still photo of the monkey. He was obscured by leaves and I was quite a distance from it.

The Proboscis Monkey is endemic to Borneo's low elevation mangrove forests, swamps, and lowland riparian forests. A distinctive trait of this monkey is the male's large protruding nose from which it takes its name.

Anyway, below is a short clip on the Proboscis monkey that you can stumbled upon at Telok Paku beach.

YouTube: Proboscis live

Due to ongoing habitat loss and hunted in some areas, only about 7000 are known to still exist in the wild. In Sarawak, the population of this species has declined from 6500 in 1977 to only 1000 in 2006. The Proboscis Monkey is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Other names

While the official Indonesian name for this monkey is Bangkatan, an Indonesian nickname is 'monyet belanda', meaning 'Dutch monkey' or 'Orang Belanda', the Indonesian word for 'Dutchman', as Indonesians noticed the Dutch colonisers often also had a large belly and nose.

Side notes:

If you ever saw a photo of Proboscis monkey that is nicely shoot (like those appeared in National Geographic), I can tell you that it takes time for the photographer to stalk the monkey and take a picture of it. With slight noise, the monkey will move away. In addition, unless you too are perched on another tree, you will not get a clear photo from the ground due to obstruction by branches and leaves.

Special link:
* Proboscis Monkey Project by Kristina Medici

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