Conservation status: ENDANGERED
Common Name: Proboscis monkey, Long-nosed monkey
Scientific Name: Nasalis larvatus
Diet: fruits, leaves, flowers, seeds
Length: 53.3 – 76.2 cm
Weight: 7 – 22.5 kg
These monkeys with noses that resemble squeezed rubber bulbs of pipettes are known as the proboscis monkeys.
They are reddish-brown arboreal Old World monkeys with an unusually large nose, and can only be found in the Southeast Asian island of Borneo. Interestingly, the monkey also goes by the Indonesian name monyet belanda (“Dutch monkey”), or even orang belanda (“Dutchman”), as Indonesians thought that the Dutch colonizers often had similarly large bellies and noses.
However, the proboscis monkey’s total population has decreased by more than 50% in the past 36–40 years due to ongoing habitat loss caused by logging and the expansion of oil palm plantations. Hunting in some areas due to the species being treated as a delicacy, as well as its use in traditional Chinese medicine also contributed to the downward trend of the total population.
Like many other endangered animals, these monkeys might soon face the danger of extinction if humans prioritize short-term economic profit over the island’s biodiversity.
- Calvert, Alana. “Borneo: How An Island On The Brink Brings Home The Tragedy Of Deforestation”. Huffpost Australia, 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/23/on-the-brink-of-extinct-borneo-and-the-tragedy-of-deforestation_a_23229071/.
- Bennett E. L., Gombek F. (1993) Proboscis monkeys of Borneo. Sabah (MY):Koktas Sabah Berhad Ranau.
- Boonratana R. (1993) The ecology and behaviour of the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) in the lower Kinabatangan, Sabah. PhD dissertation, Mahidol University.