“The Golden Couple”, a photo-portrait of snub-nosed monkeys by Dutch wildlife photographer Marsel van Oosten, has won the top award in the 54th annual wildlife photographic contest at the Natural History Museum in London. Wildlife photographers from 95 countries competed for the prize. “The Golden Couple” was chosen by judges especially for its subtle artistic imagery, stunning colour and soft lighting, reminding the viewer that nature is precious.
The endangered (Red Listed) golden snub-nosed monkey is found in it’s only habitat – the small area of temperate forest in south-west China. Diurnal, the species lives in groups of about 20 to 30 individuals in winter and as many as 200 in summer – groups often combine, numbering 500 to 600 individuals that can more easily ward off predators. Diet includes pine needles, flower buds, tender bamboo shoots and fruits. Dense fur protects against subzero winters. A flat muzzle may also aid in combating extremely cold temperatures. It is estimated that between 8,000 and 15,000 of these primates are left in the wild.
The exhibition at the Natural History Museum will run to 30 June, 2019, and then travel to the U. S.
Guide to the Wildlife of Southwest China, W. McShea and Sheng Li, 2018.