Proboscis Monkey Research

To study the distribution, abundance and conservation status of proboscis monkeys in Malaysia


Proboscis monkeys, Nasalis larvatus, are endemic to Borneo and their lowland mangrove, riverine and swamp forest habitats are under increasing pressure from various types of land use and other human impacts. However, the current conservation status of this species is largely unknown, with the last comprehensive survey conducted in 1982. This information is urgently needed to review the status of the species and implementing updated conservation strategies. In Sabah, proboscis monkeys are more widely distributed and abundant than previously thought, but the population and habitats are increasingly fragmented. Considering the trend of habitat reduction, the population has most likely significantly declined from its historical population. Habitat loss, exacerbated by localized human impacts like hunting, is the greatest threat to its long-term viability.


To determine the current distribution and abundance of proboscis monkeys in the state of Sabah, to examine possible ecological factors contributing to its distribution, abundance, density and demography, and to provide a more accurate picture of their current conservation status, a project was started in 2004. Such a project was necessary as a holistic conservation approach, taking into consideration both major and remnant populations, and implementing swift mitigating strategies on a circumstantial basis.

WAZA Conservation Project 06010 is implemented by Mr. John Sha, University Malaysia Sabah (supervised by Dr. Henry Bernard), and supported by the Zoological Society of San Diego and Singapore Zoological Gardens.


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