A new population of one of the world's rarest monkeys has been uncovered in Vietnam.
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey - so-called because of its bizarre-looking nose - was
believed extinct in the 1980s and just around 200 are thought to be left in the world.
But the spotting of a 20-strong colony - including three young - has boosted hopes for its survival.
Hope: A tribe of 20 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys has been spotted in Vietnam - allaying fears of extinction
'All recent indications suggest we have a fantastic opportunity to secure this population and significantly increase the chances of survival of this species,' said conservationist Paul Insua-Cao of Fauna and Flora International, which made the discovery.
'Most significant is all the excitement this has generated locally and the support that is coming from the local Vietnamese government agencies and Caritas Switzerland.
'With almost half the world's primate species under threat from extinction, we must do everything we can.'
Under threat: The bizarre-looking species were thought to have died out in 1980s
The species, which made the Red List for Endangered Species, was forced to the brink of extinction due to hunting and habitat loss.
FFI said the new colony is sensitive to the presence of people, giving warning signs to each other and fleeing when they approached - signs that hunting remains a threat to their survival.
In 2002, the conservation charity uncovered the largest population of the monkeys in Ha Giang Province, with an estimated 70 members. And recent interviews with villagers have raised hope of another, larger colony.
'When I saw the Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys, I was overjoyed,' said FFI's Quan Ba, who photographed the rare monkey.
'There is still time to save this unique species, but with just 200 or so left and threats still strong, we need to act now.'
Hope for world's rarest monkeys as 20-strong colony uncovered in Vietnam | Mail Online