The endangered Francois’ Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) is found from southwestern China to northeastern Vietnam, particularly in the southern Guangxi province of China, in northern Vietnam, and in west-central Laos. It is feared that this primate may join the list of highly endangered species as its population continues to decline rapidly. Its closest relatives – Cat Ba Langur, White-headed Langur, and Delancour’ Langur – are among the most endangered primates in the world.
It is estimated that about 1200 individuals remain in the wild, mostly in isolated pockets of habitat on karst mountain areas in southern China and northern Vietnam. In China, the the largest populations seem to remain, the total population was estimated to be c. 200 individuals in 27 mixed sex groups in Chongqing province and Guizhou province; the latter holding about 60% of the wild population of the species in China. In Vietnam, the species is distributed in small groups particularly in Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang provinces, with the largest known single population present in the Lam Binh/ Sinh Long karst forest landscape, with six-to-eight groups and about seventy individuals.
Vietnam population surveys
In May 2011 PRCF field staff located four new groups of Francois’ Langur in the Lam Binh Forest Area. Counts then indicated approximately 60 to 75 animals in this area. A latest November 2016 survey in the landscape resulted in about the same number of individuals, with about ten eight groups in the Lam Binh area and three groups in the Sinh Long area. Although no apparent decrees in population, the lack of increase in population numbers is particularly due to hunting, with at least four langurs reported killed by hunters between in 2011 and three in 2015, when PRCF’s sponsored Community Conservation Teams were not funded Since late 2016, conservation teams have been reestablished and increased in the Francois Langur Conservation Landscape of Lam Bimh and Sinh Long.
PRCF Francois’ Langur Conservation Program
PRCF’s Francois’ Langur Conservation Program includes:
- Participatory land use planning in the Francois’ Langur habitat landscape
- Local community involvement in conservation monitoring Francois’ Langur
- Awareness raising and education activities involving local grade schools
- Community based planning for conservation of the Francois’ Langur and its habitat
- Payments for ecosystem services to provide long-term and sustainable funding
- Establish a community-based conservation area to protect the langur and its habitat
References: IUNC Red List, Protected Areas for Resource Conservation