The proboscis monkey is related to the colobus monkeys of Southern Asia. rarely seen in the wild, this endangered species lives only in the remote mangrove swamps of Borneo. The proboscis monkey is named for the male's long trunk like nose. This tree dweller favors dense, swampy forests, but much of its habitat has been cleared by humans for lumber and land use. Before 1963 the proboscis monkey had never been bred successfully in captivity, and it is now so rare that it has received international protection.

Habits: The proboscis monkey spends its life among the trees and dense mangrove forests and swampy river plains. it lives in groups of up to 60 animals, but this society,  unlike most monkey societies, in not highly structured. This loose organization may be because the proboscis monkey spends most of its time finding and eating food, leaving little time for group activities.

Each group has a home range of almost one square mile. Proboscis monkeys are not aggressive, however, and they share their ranged with other animals. During the day the proboscis monkey swings from branch to branch, foraging for food high above the ground. Surrounded by the leaves it eats, it rarely travels more than half a mile a day. Since the male is twice as heavy as the female, he moves more slowly.  At night proboscis monkeys sleep together in a group, arranged along a branch, arranged along a branch in a row.  They try to find a strong branch that leans out over the water because this location offers the best protection from predators such as leopards.

Food & Feeding: The proboscis monkey begins and ends each day by eating a big meal. Leaves and shoots are its favorite food, but it will also eat fruit and flowers. Because the monkey does not digest its food very efficiently, it must spend most of the day eating to obtain the nutrients that it needs. When feedings, the proboscis monkey sits in the fork of a tree, grabs nearby branches, and strips them of their leaves.

Its long thumbs, which are unusual for a monkey, allow it to grip branches, and its sharp teeth are excellent for shredding leaves.  After a big meal the monkey rests in the tree to digest its food. but soon it must search for more food, either alone or in a group. When a group forages together, one of the larger males squats at the top of a tree and acts as a lookout.  The proboscis monkey rarely has to drink., It gets all the water it needs from the moisture in the leaves it eats.

Related Species:  There are 31 species in 4 genera in the Colobinae subfamily. The genus Nasalis contains another rare species, the pig tailed langur N. concolor.

Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Length:  Head and body, 1 1/2 - 2 ft. Tail, 2 -21/2 ft.
Weight: 15 - 50 lbs. Male heavier

Sexual maturity: Female, 4 years. Male, 4 - 5 years.
Mating season: Throughout the year, but births coincide with seasonal abundance of food.
Gestation: About 6 months.
No. of young: Usually 1

Habit: Lives in trees, in social groups of up to 60 members.
Diet: Mainly leaves, but some fruit and flowers.
Life span: About 13 years

Distribution: Found only in swampy mangrove forests along the coasts and on the tidal sections of rivers in Borneo.
Conservation:  The proboscis monkey is classified as endangered as a result of hunting and habitat destruction. Protected since 1931, it still needs special reserves to ensure its future.

Did you know:
The proboscis monkey eats so much that the content of its stomach can be over a quarter of its body weight.
Proboscis monkeys can jump into the water from a height of 50 feet and stay submerged for 30 seconds.
The proboscis monkey is hunted by clouded leopards in the trees and by crocodiles in the water.
The male snorts or honks loudly as a warning. The female sounds like a goose.
The flesh of the proboscis monkey is a delicacy to the people of Borneo.

Features of the Proboscis monkey:
Nose: The male makes a loud honking sound with his nose to frighten off predators. The long nose shoots into a horizontal position with each honk.
Habitat: The proboscis monkey is well suited to  the swampy mangroves of Borneo. It is a good swimmer, and it moves with great agility among the trees. These skills help it escape from predators, including people who hunt it for food.

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