The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is an Old World monkey in the Colobinae subfamily. It is endemic to a small area in temperate, mountainous forests of central and Southwest China. They inhabit these mountainous forests of Southwestern China at elevations of 1,500-3,400 m above sea level. The Chinese name is Sichuan golden hair monkey (川金丝猴). It is also widely referred to as the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey. Of the three species of snub-nosed monkeys in China, the golden snub-nosed monkey is the most widely distributed throughout China.
Snow occurs frequently within its range and it can withstand colder average temperatures than any other non-human primates. Its diet varies markedly with the seasons, but it is primarily an herbivore with lichens being its main food source. It is diurnal and largely arboreal, spending some 97% of their time in the canopy. There are three subspecies. Population estimates range from 8,000 to 15,000 and it is threatened by habitat loss.
Although typical colobine monkeys are largely arboreal quadrupeds and live in the canopies of moist tropical forests, there are a number of exceptions. The genus Rhinopithecus is unusual among colobines in having forelimbs almost as long as their hind limbs and ischial callosities separated in males and females.
Found in the highly seasonal deciduous coniferous mixed forests in Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Sichuan, where the monkeys experience severe winters with snow cover for 4 months and lowest average temperature of any non-human primate in the world. [read more]