KALAMAZOO — Philanthropist Jon Stryker has the distinction of having a newly discovered species of monkey named after him.
The “Rhinopithecus strykeri” was discovered in early 2010 by primatologists in Northern Myanmar working on a project funded by Stryker's Arcus Foundation.
The researchers estimated that there are no more than 330 of these primates which are also known as the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey.
One of the Arcus Foundation’s top missions is to support conservation and protection projects dealing with Great Apes.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviewed Stryker about the honor.
“It made me feel good about the work we’re doing,” Stryker told the Chronicle for the story that was published Nov. 3.
The team of primatologists in Myanmar — from Fauna & Flora International, and Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association — found the monkey during a survey of gibbons, which are tree-dwelling apes.
According to a Fauna & Flora International press release, the team discovered the new species as part of the nationwide Myanmar Primate Conservation Program.
“I care a lot and had known quite a bit about monkeys, but I never dreamed I would have one named after me,” said Stryker, who is heir to the Stryker fortune and a member of Kalamazoo College’s Board of Trustees.
FFI officials said that locally the monkey is called "mey nwoah" or "monkey with an upturned face." They describe the animal as having wide, upturned nostrils and prominent lips.
Stryker told the Chronicle that he considers the creatures “the most beautiful monkeys I have ever seen. They do have unusual noses, but I thought they were very, very cool.”
Story Credit Here
The Arcus Foundation Here