Scientists discover new species of monkey in Myanmar’s jungle
BY Amila Khan
A new monkey has been found in a remote jungle in Myanmar, about which scientists knew nothing for so long. According to the name of Popa Mountain, the monkey is named Popa Langur.
However, in the meantime, this animal is in danger of extinction because there are only about 200 members of this species.
The langur is a leaf-eating monkey, a species found in Southeast Asian countries. This monkey species’ peculiarity is that it has dark-colored round rings resembling spectacles in their eyes, which are seen separately. And the fur of its skin is gray.
Research has shown that this monkey species is different from the monkeys that existed on Earth 1 million years ago.
This species of monkey is at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and prey.
By analyzing the DNA found in the feces and urine of wild monkeys, scientists have long speculated that there are new monkeys in Myanmar. However, no evidence has been found so far.
Lacking sufficient evidence, they began collecting and testing monkey specimens at natural history museums in London, Leiden, New York, and Singapore. Early explorers in Myanmar collected these samples, but they were not well tested.
Scientists identified the new species after testing the DNA from that sample with wild monkeys. This species of Popa Langur has been found in the forests of central Myanmar. Most of them live in sanctuaries near the pilgrimage sites on Mount Popa.
Frank Momberg of conservationist group Fauna & Flora International, says that this analysis will come in handy in protecting the monkey scientifically.
He said, “The newly discovered Popa Langur is one of the most extincted and endangered species in the world. So it is very important to protect those who are still alive. They need the help of the local community as well as the private sector for their security.”
It is estimated that between 200 and 250 species of this species have survived.
New species of reptiles and amphibians have been discovered in Myanmar since a decade ago when they started to match international scientists themselves. But the discovery of new species of monkeys is rare.
Christiana Ross of the Primate Genetics Laboratory at the German Primate Center says the animal is at risk due to habitat loss and prey.
Hunting is a big problem.
But the bigger problem is that their habitat is almost lost. Due to human activities, it is decreasing and becoming isolated.” He says. Information on this discovery has been published in the Journal of Zoological Research.