Infrared cameras installed inside the Xiaoheishan Provincial Nature Reserve in Longling county, southwest China's Yunnan Province captured scenes of Assam macaques and Phayre's leaf monkeys, two rare monkey species, living in perfect harmony in a tree.
It is the first such footage of this kind of scene captured in Longling county, according to the technical staff of the nature reserve who recently discovered the footage after collecting infrared cameras scattered across the reserve.
The infrared cameras have recorded many interesting scenes of the monkeys' life in the tree. In two videos clips, they were seen occasionally jumping from branch to branch and chasing and playing with each other, and at other times they were seen sitting still at the trunk of the tree while observing their surroundings, as well as taking care of their offspring, enjoying a meal, or taking a nap.
The Assam macaque is under second-class state protection in China, and is listed in AppendixⅡof the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 2019) and as a Near Threatened (NT) species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (2020).
The Phayre's leaf monkey is a key wild animal species under first-class state protection in China and listed as an Endangered (EN) species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN, 2008).
It is very rare for two groups of different species of monkeys to live without any conflict in the same tree when that tree is not in its fruiting stage, according to Deng Xiaobao, a professor-level senior engineer with the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Deng said that this phenomenon demonstrates that the nature reserve has achieved significant results in ecological protection, while the quality of the nature reserve's ecosystem is becoming increasingly more stable, with its sound ecological environment being suitable for primates and other wild animals to live and reproduce with ease.
There are seven species of wild primates living in the nature reserve, including the Skywalker hoolock gibbon, northern pig-tailed macaque, and Phayre's leaf monkey, with the nature reserve meanwhile covering an area of less than 6,000 hectares, said Feng Siqin, an executive with the management and protection bureau for the nature reserve.
The species of wild primates living in the nature reserve account for 46.67 percent of all such species in Yunnan and 28 percent of the total in China, a level of density that is rare in China and even throughout the world, Feng said.
Because of its rich wild animal resources, the nature reserve has been referred to as the "'Noah's Ark' for primates on the border of China" by animal experts in Yunnan.