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Modeling habitat suitability for Yunnan Snub-nosed monkeys in Laojun Mountain National Park

  • Jie LiuEmail author
  • Maegan Fitzgerald
  • Haohong LiaoEmail author
  • Yongmei Luo
  • Tong Jin
  • Xiaolan Li
  • Xuerong Yang
  • Satoshi Hirata
  • Tetsuro Matsuzawa
Original Article


We provide new information on Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) behavioral ecology, contributing to future conservation efforts within the Laojun Mountain National Park. Habitat evaluation procedures are used to quantify the value of land as a habitat for a species. We analyzed environmental variables hypothesized to influence habitat suitability for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, and mapped the distribution of suitable habitats across the study area and adjacent areas. Spatial analysis with GPS data was conducted to investigate home-range change of these monkeys. Predictor variables were generated using ArcMap and R programming language. We prepared 34 environmental variables at 30-m spatial resolution. Maxent was used to analyze environmental variables that contributed to suitability. Using satellite remote sensing and GIS, we modeled the distribution of suitable habitat for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the Jinsichang area of the Laojun Mountains in China. This study did not describe the frequency or intensity of habitat use. Habitat suitability was affected by several variables, the most influential, as determined by permutation importance, being mean diurnal temperature range (31.6%), precipitation during the wettest quarter of the year (30.4%), average annual precipitation (17%), normalized difference vegetation index (5%), wetness (4.6%), and aspect (4.5%). This habitat suitability model provides information about the current distribution of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, which is important for appropriate implementation of conservation actions.


Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys Species distribution modeling Habitat suitability Conservation 



This study was financially supported by MEXT 24000001 and 16H06283, JSPS core-to-core CCSN, and JSPS leading graduate program U04 (PWS) to TM. Support from Kyoto University and The Nature Conservancy is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also acknowledge Lijiang Laojun Mountain Biodiversity Conservation Center, Yulong Forestry Bureau and Lijiang Laojun Mountain National Park Management Bureau Lijiang Laojun Mountain Community Patrol Team, and Yulong Wildlife Protection Association. We thank Mallory Eckstut, PhD, from Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Author contributions

LJ, MF, SH, and TM conceived and designed this study. LJ, HL, and XY conducted the data collection. LJ and MF analyzed data and wrote the paper. LJ, MF, HL, YL, XL, SH, and TM reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10329_2019_767_MOESM1_ESM.avi (169.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (AVI 173668 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Kyoto University Institute for Advanced StudyKyotoJapan
  3. 3.The Nature ConservancyLijiangChina
  4. 4.The Nature ConservancyBeijingChina
  5. 5.Lijiang Laojun Mountain Biodiversity Conservation CenterLijiangChina

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