CITES: Appendix I
(What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: P. cinerea: CR; P. nemaeus, P. nigripes: EN
(What is Red List?)
Key: CR = Critically endangered, EN = Endangered, EN = Endangered
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)
Photo: Anna Halko-Angemi
In general, Laos harbors the largest conservable P. nemaeus
populations, predominantly due to less habitat fragmentation. The largest
populations of the species likely reside within its borders (Timmins &
Duckworth 1999). P. cinerea are listed as one of the World's 25 Most
Endangered Primates by the IUCN Primate Specialist Group and there are likely
less than a thousand individuals in existence (Ha 2004; Mittermeier et al.
In general, the main threats to douc langurs are hunting, the loss of their
habitat, and trade across borders, even though doucs are considered protected
(Lippold 1999; Timmins & Duckworth 1999). However, many protected areas are
under-staffed and staffs are under-equipped, limiting the protection they
actually afford to douc langurs (Lippold 1995). In Vietnam, enforcement of
protective laws rarely occurs (Lippold & Vu 1998). In addition, literally
millions of people live within protected areas within Vietnam (Lippold 1998).
Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation
Habitat destruction is a main threat to douc langurs and cutting of trees for
firewood is the predominant threat habitats (Lippold 1998; Lippold & Vu
1998). Forest exploitation for a number of uses (including firewood for
charcoal, resins, palm leaves, cycad and rattan) degrades douc langur habitats
and damages food trees (Lippold & Vu 2008). Resin is collected from favored
food trees, weakening them, and making them susceptible to termites, weather and
natural disasters (Lippold & Vu 2008). Logging occurs for coffee, rubber,
fruit tree, and cashew agriculture, but also other types of plantation
agriculture (Lippold & Vu 2002; Ha 2004; Nadler et al. 2007). In Laos,
habitat loss due to swidden agriculture and commercial logging threatens
populations as it fragments populations and affects the ecology of the species
(Timmins & Duckworth 1999). In Vietnam, logging is sometimes prevented in
National Parks, but in nearby areas it does occur, destroying potential
corridors between populations (Ha 2007). In addition, logging continues both
illegally (including by the Vietnamese army) and legally (Lippold & Vu 1998;
Ha 2004). Agricultural forest clearance and logging also threaten populations
of P. cinerea (Mittermeier et al. 2007).
Development of habitats for tourism also threatens them in multifaceted ways.
For example, at Son Tra, Vietnam, tourism development has cause new roadways to
be built which has fragmented habitats. The road-building itself causes
hunting, as road crews sometimes take douc langurs to eat (Lippold & Vu
Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)
Hunting and trapping can be the main threat to some douc langur populations,
even in protected areas (Lippold 1998; Lippold & Vu 1998; Timmins &
Duckworth 1999; Lippold & Vu 2008). Traps which have been placed for other
species threaten douc langurs, as well as traps specifically designed to catch
primates (Lippold & Vu 2008). P. cinerea are hunted even within
protected areas and especially by the use of snares (Ha 2007; Mittermeier et al.
2007). Further, some traditional hunting of the grey-shanked langur does occur
and sometimes, traditional hunters supply primates for consumption outside of
forested areas (Lippold 1999; Ha 2007).
Gathering of douc langurs for trade is also one of the predominant threats to
the species (Timmins & Duckworth 1999). They are gathered and certain body
parts are used as medicines (including to make "monkey balm"), and infants are
also collected as pets or for food (Davidson et al. 1997 cited in Timmins &
Duckworth 1999; Lippold 1998; Lippold & Vu 2002). Particularly, adults are
often shot for food and their infants are sold alive as pets or into
international trade (especially for export to China), which is a widespread
problem (Lippold 1995; 1999). For example, douc langurs are exported from Laos
to both Thailand and Vietnam (reviewed in Timmins & Duckworth 1999). Also,
P. nemaeus have been illegally purchased by Chinese zoos (Nadler et al.
Threat: Human Disturbance
P. nemaeus present in areas used as military installations have been
shot as target practice (Lippold & Vu 2008). The Vietnam War was a
significant factor in the destruction of douc langur habitats in the
mid-twentieth century as well (Lippold 1977). In addition, habitats to which
Agent Orange (a chemical defoliant) were applied during the war no longer
contain douc langurs, even when regenerating (Lippold 1995).
Overpopulation by humans is also a potential threat, as individuals are being
resettled in areas that were formerly sparsely populated, and often douc langur
habitats (Lippold & Vu 1998).
LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION
- Vietnam poachers arrested for killing rare monkeys (Earth Times; July 8, 2010)
- Eleanor Sterling Blogs from Vietnam for The New York Times (American Museum of Natural History News; June 10, 2010)
- Quang Binh: Largest group of Siki gibbon discovered (VietNamNet; March 24, 2009)
- Foreigner honored for his forestry and wildlife protection efforts (Voice of the Armed Forces and People, Vietnam; February 22, 2009)
- Unexpected Large Monkey Population Discovered (ScienceDaily; August 28, 2008)
- Large population of rare monkeys spotted in Kon Tum (Thanh Nien News; December 25, 2007)
- Rare black langurs found in Khanh Hoa (VietNamNet; September 23, 2007)
- Photo in the News: Rare Monkey Troop Spotted in Wild (National Geographic News; July 3, 2007)
- Vietnam central city to preserve endangered monkey (Thanh Nien Daily; May 23, 2007)
- First study of endangered monkey (UQ News Online, Australia; October 10, 2006)
- Primates swing into spotlight (Viet Nam News; May 4, 2006)
- Snub-nosed monkey is rarer than giant panda (China View; February 13, 2004)
- Links for all species
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Pygathrix CONSERVATION
Content last modified: September 3, 2009
Written by Kurt Gron.
Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2009 September 3. Primate Factsheets: Douc langur (Pygathrix) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/douc_langur/cons>. Accessed 2015 April 21.