Extinct Species Re-Discovered

Odd + Funny, Science

In Borneo, researchers hoping to catch a glimpse of cloud leopards and orangutans set up camera traps, and what they found was very interesting. The Miller’s Grizzled Langur, a large grey monkey who was thought to be extinct up until now.

The Miller’s Grizzled Langur / Eric Fell/Ethical Expeditions/AP

In June the team traveled to the South Pacific, and over their time there they were able to capture 4,000 images of these monkeys. Re-searchers say that it is likely that many of the pictures were of the same monkeys who returned to the spot, however they are unable to say how many of the Langurs’ live on the Island.

Until now there were no photographs of these primates, but rather only museum drawings, so this find holds much scientific significance. In addition, the Langurs were observed far beyond the habitat they were originally thought to reside in.

“We were all pretty ecstatic, the fact that, wow, this monkey still lives, and also that it’s in Wehea,” said Brent Loken, a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

The forests where the monkeys were thought to have lived has mostly been burned by fire and cut down for development by corporations and the government. The research team’s next step is to now travel back to Borneo and figure out how many of Langurs live there, and what their range is.

“We are trying to find out all we can,” said Loken. “But it really feels like a race against time.”

It may certainly be a race against time. With habitat disappearing, combined with an increasingly reclusive species, it may be another decade before these creatures are observed again.

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