BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE MOST ENDANGERED PRIMATE SPECIES
#2 CAT BA LANGUR
Also known as the CAT BA HOODED BLACK LEAF MONKEY,
GOLDEN-HEADED LANGUR, and TONKIN HOODED BLACK LANGUR
Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.
Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.
The Cat Ba langur is only found on Cat Ba, the largest of the 367 islands that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago in the Gulf of Tonkin, northeastern Vietnam. The dramatic landscape of Cat Ba island is characterized by limestone boulders, coral terraces, mangrove forests, lagoons, beaches, and willow swamp forests.
- The Cat Ba langur is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primate species
- Only 60 individuals remain
- Cat Ba langurs are at ease in the trees or on the ground, but they prefer steep cliffs, where humans cannot set foot
- Now protected, Cat Ba langurs were poached to near extinction for body parts used in traditional medicines
Poaching is the main reason for the drastic decline of the species. The langurs were hunted mostly for parts and bones used in traditional medicine. They were also hunted for food in times of famine (even though their flesh does not taste good), and some were hunted for sport. The local illegal pet trade also contributed to their decline. More recently, the problem has been compounded by habitat fragmentation due to logging, agricultural use of the land, tourism development, and forest fires on the limestone cliffs caused by honey collectors.
- Cat Ba langurs are wild animals. Their dietary and environmental needs cannot be adequately met or replicated in human living conditions.
- Trade in Critically Endangered species is illegal.
- To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
- Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Cat Ba langurs belong with other langurs in Vietnam. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.