By RICHARD SHEARS
Historic first: The Myanmar snub nosed monkey had not been previously been photographed until this group were spotted in the Kachin mountain jungles
A British wildlife photographer has managed to capture the first known picture of the extremely rare snub-nosed monkey of Burma. The creatures, whose faces resemble skulls, are so rare that they have only ever been seen once before by Western eyes, when the team did not have time to record the meeting. More commonly, dead bodies, skins and bones are all that is seen of them, usually after they have been hunted by villagers. The monkey gets its name from its peculiar turned-up nose, which causes problems for it when it rains - for all the water runs up its nostrils.
Night prowler: The monkeys triggered hidden cameras set up on the Burma-China border
As a result it constantly sneezes during the monsoon season and in order to avoid the rain keeps its face to the ground as much as possible.
Locals even call it mey nwoah (monkey with an upturned face).
But now Jeremy Holden, who works with Britain's oldest conservation organisation, Fauna and Flora International, has photographed a pair of them looking upwards in colour. He also spotted them with their young in the remote mountain jungles of Kachin, on the border of Burma and China.
'It's the first time the monkey has been photographed,' said a proud Mr Holden,
Excited: The pictures by Briton Jeremy Holden have set the scientific community abuzz
'We didn't know where they lived and I didn't hold out much hope of short-term success with this work.'
But then a small group of monkeys walked past the hidden cameras that he had set up to shoot pictures at any sign of movement. What excited the scientists was the discovery that some of the females were carrying babies.
Mr Holden worked with scientists linked to the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association and another group called the People Resources and Conservation Fundation.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
By RICHARD SHEARS