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Our Work

How We are saving the Cat Ba Langur

At the end of 1999, alarmed by reports that there might have only about 100 langurs survived on Cat Ba Island, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) and Münster Zoo immediately took steps to implement a conservation program
me for this endangered primate species.

The “Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project” was started in November 2000. By then the number of surviving langurs had further dropped - to a mere 53 individuals. The stopping of langur poaching therefore became the main objective of the conservation project. Project activities concentrated on the close monitoring of the langur population, the evaluation and implementation of protection measures for single langur groups, the promotion of public conservation awareness, and the capacity building of the Cat Ba National Park staff. These efforts have culminated in bringing hunting of langurs to a halt, and for the first time in decades the World’s only remaining population of the Cat Ba langurs has increased to at least 65 individuals at present.

A Strictly Protected Sanctuary for the Cat Ba Langur

In 2002 the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project established a strictly protected langur sanctuary inside Cat Ba National Park. This area is home to the largest remaining langur sub-population. This sub-population is designated to play a major role in the recovery of the Cat Ba langur and will be the most important founder group for future langur generations. In order to optimize the protection status it was necessary to significantly increase the presence of forest rangers in this area. Consequently two additional ranger stations were constructed and 20 forest rangers were dispatched to protect the langur sanctuary. A visible demarcation of the sanctuary area and the setting of booms at the mouth of certain fjords facilitated the work of the forest rangers. In addition, boats and fuel for ranger patrols, provided by the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project, help to maintain a high patrol frequency. Surveillance was also boosted by the involvement of local households eager to support the forest rangers. Many locals even relocated their floating homes to remote parts of the island to collectively ensure a watchful presence and control over large sections of the langur sanctuary.

Please note: The sanctuary is not accessible for tourists

Rangers Patrolling
Rangers on patrol - one of the main prerequisites for the recovery of the Cat Ba langur is to avoid further losses to poaching. With the current low size of the population, any loss of an additional individual has to be considered as a disaster.

Langurs resting
The langurs at home in the safety of the sanctuary

Sanctuary demarcation
One of the rangers erects a sign prohibiting entrance to the langur sanctuary


ZGAP - Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations

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