Scientists discover new endangered primate species, with only 260 left

The Popa langur, a newly discovered primate species in Myanmar that is critically endangered.

(CNN)Scientists have discovered a new primate species in the jungles of Myanmar -- and it's already at risk of extinction.

The Popa langur is a type of monkey with a long tail, rings around its eyes, and a crest of fur on top of its head. There are only an estimated 200 to 260 left, according to a news release by the London Natural History Museum, which collaborated on this study.
The research team named the Popa langurs after the sacred extinct volcano Mount Popa and classified them as "critically endangered."
"Sadly this is a bittersweet discovery due to the limited number of individuals left in the wild and fragmented populations," said Roberto Portela Miguez, a senior curator at the Natural History Museum, in the release.
A Popa langur photographed at Mount Yathe Pyan in Myanmar.
"The hope is that by giving this species the scientific status and notoriety it merits, there will be even more concerted efforts in protecting this area and the few other remaining populations."
The scientists, spanning three organizations, published their findings on Wednesday in the journal Zoological Research.
In the study, researchers at Fauna and Floral International (FFI) and the German Primate Center (GMC) carried out field surveys of the langurs, whose scientific name is "Trachypithecus popa." They also gathered samples and DNA of all other Trachypithecus species -- cousins of the Popa langur.
They combined the data from these surveys and samples, as well as data from specimens in other museums, confirm the existence of the new species, said the news release.
One of the crucial parts of the puzzle was a 100-year-old specimen that had been stored at the London Natural History Museum. In the early 20th century, British zoologist Guy C. Shortridge collected thousands of specimens, including a 1913 Trachypithecus specimen that the Popa langur team re-examined.