Golden langur: India
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A species endemic to semi-evergreen and mixed-deciduous forests of Indo-Bhutan border, Golden langurs (Trachypithecus geei) came to be known to the western world after its discovery by naturalist E P Gee in the 1950s. It has already been listed as endangered species in the IUCN Red List and Schedule-I species in Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
In India its distribution is confined to approximately 2,500 square kilometer between the rivers Manas in the east, Sankosh in the west and Brahmaputra in the south in Assam. However, habitat destruction has shrunken the area to about 1, 400 sq km, a large portion of which is now in Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD). In Bhutan its distribution is restricted to central Bhutan ranging between Sankosh river and the Chamkhar-Mange-Manas river system.
“The government should soon declare the 590 sq km Ripu-Chirang (in BTAD) and 17 sq km Kakoijana in Bongaigaon district as wildlife sanctuaries without further delay as part of conservation effort for Golden langurs. Also other habitats should also be brought under protected areas network,” Chetry demanded. Chetry also emphasized on trans-boundary conservation with Bhutan through restoring habitat connectivity across the international border.
2016/ listed in the “World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates”
Golden langur, a charismatic primate species conspicuous by its lustrous creamy-golden fur and found only in few forest patches of Assam and Bhutan, has been listed in the “World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates” during an international conservation conclave in Chicago.
Russell A. Mittermeier, chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, during the joint congress of the International Primatological Society and American Society of Primatologist from August 21 to 27 in Chicago, USA declared inclusion of golden langur in the world’s 25 most endangered primate list.
Primatologist and head of primate research and conservation division of Aaranyak, Dilip Chetry who attended the conclave, said that golden langur has been put in the list after assessing its rapid population decline due to extensive habitat destruction and encroachment along its distribution range. “Out of different primate species in India, only Golden langur got listed among 25 world’s most endangered primates. It’s a kind of alarm bell for the survival of this charismatic primate species. It will draw the attention of global primatologists now. It also becomes a responsibility for the Assam government to respond fast to ensure a safe future of this species,” Chetry said.