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.
Now considered as endangered, It is feared that this langur may join the list of highly endangered species as its population continues to decline rapidly in most of it’s remaining habitat. Its closest relatives, the Cat Ba Langur, White-headed Langur, and Delancour’ Langur are among the most endangered primates in the world.
It is estimated that little more than 1000 individuals remain in the wild, mostly in isolated pockets of habitat on karst mountain areas in southern China and northern Vietnam. In China, where the largest populations seem to remain, the total number is estimated at about 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, Francois Langur is distributed in small groups, particularly found in Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang provinces. The largest known single population is present in the Lam Binh/ Sinh Long karst forest landscape of Tuyen Quang, with six-to-eight groups and about ninety individuals.
Vietnam population surveys
In May 2011 PRCF field staff located four groups of Francois’ Langur in the Lam Binh Forest Area. Counts then indicated approximately 60 to 75 animals. A November 2016 survey in the landscape resulted in about the same number of individuals, with about ten groups of about ten members in the Lam Binh area and three groups in the Sinh Long area. Although no apparent decrease, the lack of increase in the population has been attributed to hunting, with at least four langurs reported killed by hunters between 2011 and 2015, when Community Conservation Teams were not funded. Since late 2016, conservation teams have been reestablished and increased to nine teams of 19 patrollers in the Francois Langur Conservation Landscape of Lam Bimah and Sinh Long.
PRCF Francois’ Langur Conservation Program
The ongoing PRCF Francois Langur Conservation Program includes:
- Participatory resource use planning in the conservation landscape
- Community stakeholder 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
- Establishment of a community-based conservation area to protect the langur and its habitat
References: IUNC Red List, Protected Areas for Resource Conservation