The Proboscis Monkey, Nasalis larvatus, is listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This primate is endemic to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia and, known to be a prolific swimmer, it is most common around the island’s rivers, coastal areas, mangroves and swamps. Male proboscis monkeys use their extraordinary pendulous noses to attract mates.
Habitat loss has been the primary cause of the dramatic decline in the Proboscis Monkey population in the last 40 years, with vast areas of Borneo’s native rainforest having been cleared for timber and palm oil plantations. Proboscis Monkeys are unable to adapt to degraded habitat, and their propensity to gather in large groups on the edges of rivers, as well as their relatively lethargic nature, makes them easy hunting targets.
The Proboscis Monkey is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in this primate is illegal. It is found in several protected areas, including a designated sanctuary in Sabah. The protection of remaining tracts of contiguous habitat, as well as improvements in conservation funding and management, are vital for the survival of this unique-looking species.