Status and Conservation of Douc Langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Laos
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 20, Number 4, August 1999 , pp. 469-489(21)
A recent systematic survey program of protected areas in Laos documented douc langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus) widely between 14°25N and 18°38N. Their precise northern limit is unclear as security constraints prevented survey there, but the species is unlikely to occur in Laos north of 20°. All our records are of the nominate, red-shanked form, P. n. nemaeus, though in the far south, greatly reduced red on the legs suggests intergradation with another form. Our records are overwhelmingly from evergreen or semievergreen forest and from a wide altitudinal range (2001600 m). In most sites habitat was little degraded, but whether this reflects choice for such habitats, or the generally lower hunting pressure within them, is unclear. The largest population occurs over 3000 km2 of the Nam Theun basin and surroundings, encompassing the protected areas of Nakai-Nam Theun, Hin Namno and the proposed Nam Theun Extension. This is the most important population of red-shanked langurs in the world. Laos supports globally the vast majority of their conservable population. Douc langurs are threatened in Laos by habitat fragmentation increasing their vulnerability to the existing high hunting levels. They are a favored target for local consumption and for local and Vietnamese hunters and traders. Protective measures should center around implementing habitat conservation and antihunting measures in the recently-declared National Biodiversity Conservation Areas. A recent government initiative to reduce gun use in rural areas is likely to have a strong positive effect on the population. The best protection for some time will remain the inaccessibility of their habitat. Accordingly, road-building into remote forest and piecemeal clearance at its edges should thus be minimized. Cross-border attention should be given to wildlife trading, including measures to reduce market demand.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: WCS Lao Program, PO Box 6712, Vientiane, Laos, South-east Asia 2: WCS Lao Program, PO Box 6712, Vientiane, Laos, South-east Asia. J. W. Duckworth, East Redham Farm, Pilning, Bristol BS35 4JG, UK
Publication date: 1999-08-01