Proboscis Monkeys- Borneo

Proboscis monkeys called bekantan in Indonesia, and often referred to as long-nosed monkeys . They are endemic to the jungles of Borneo. We were fortunate to have a chance to see them at the Labuk Bay Reserve.

They are always on the move and difficult to get a good photo of them. We had a laugh seeing the dominant male with his big nose and belly. It is hard to imagine that the males use their pendulous noses to attract their mates. Scientists believe these large noses create an echo chamber that amplifies their sound, impressing females and intimidates their rivals.

It is sad to realize clear cutting in the jungle is threatening their existence. Deforestation and conversion of land to oil palm plantations mean loss of suitable habitat for the monkeys. The Proboscis monkey is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red list. The total population is currently declining. They are locally hunted for human consumption. Body parts are also sold and used in traditional Asian medicine.

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