Beijing: The population of golden snub-nosed monkeys in a national nature reserve in central China is likely to increase substantially, primatologists working on a census of the rare animal said.
Researchers began their count on October 27 with the aim of estimating the total population of golden snub-noses in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve.
The results are expected next May, said Yang Jingyuan, director of the research institute at the reserve. Located in the northwestern mountains in Hubei, Shennongjia boasts rich natural forests and many animal species.
The golden snub-noses were first spotted in the thick forests in Shennongjia in the 1960s. Once very close to extinction, the first census in Endangered monkeys are doing well in China.
The number increased to 1,282 in 2005, thanks to reforestation and a hunting ban, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Yang said improved environment and reduced human disturbance had created better circumstances for the species to live and breed.
Shennongjia now has two research centres for the monkey. One in Dalongtan has seen 15 babies born this year, the highest number in 10 year of operations.
Yang hopes for major breakthroughs soon in captive breeding and disease control.