Nasalis larvatus is a large, exquisitely coloured and graceful monkey that is a native of the rivers, swamps and coastal mangroves of Borneo. It is classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to habitat loss, illegal poaching, and land conversion.
Among the largest of Asia's monkey species, they are found in energetic groups along riversides often near the sea. This guy is photographed by the side of the Sekonyer River, along the boundaries of the Tanjung Puting National Park. Like orangutans, the proboscis or bekantan (as it is locally known) is one of the Bornean flagships that faces serious threats to its population.
It may seem hard to believe, but male proboscis monkeys probably use their out-sized noses to attract mates by amplifying their calls to mates and rivals. They are a highly arboreal species, making spectacular leaps through the canopy, and will venture onto land only occasionally to search for food. They live in organized harem groups consisting of a dominant male and two to seven females and their offspring. Various groups often congregate near water at night to sleep.
Apart from their unique noses and elegant colouring, with the long pure white tail, Proboscis monkeys are the primate world’s most prolific swimmers. They can often be glimpsed crossing rivers in search of food, using their webbed feet and hands to help them outpace the crocodiles, which are their main predator. Over the last 40 years, proboscis monkey populations have plummeted. They are currently protected from hunting or capture in Borneo.
Join Wow Borneo's cruises into Tanjung Puting National Park and to the Sebangau National Park to glimpse these improbable and highly specialised creatures in their native habitats!