There are three species of these colobine monkeys, which are native to Southeast Asia and notable for their striking appearance. They face increasing pressure as a result of loss of habitat.
Douc langur; douc
Endangered to critically endangered; CITES appendix I
The 3 species are the red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus), black-shanked douc langur (Pygathix nigripes) and gray-shanked douc langur (Pygathix cinereus).
The red-shanked douc is distinguished by its bright maroon/red "stockings" which run from its knees to its ankles. Otherwise it is similar in appearance to the grey-shanked douc, with a golden face, white chin and dark grey to black hands and feet. The black-shanked douc has a largely greyish blue face. The tail of all 3 species is as long as the body.
Height: 53 - 76cm
Tail: 56 - 76 cm
Habitat and Ecology
These animals are predominantly arboreal but may occasionally come to the ground. They are found in evergreen, semi-evergreen and semi-evergreen-mixed deciduous forest mosaics, as well as in coastal dry forest.
Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam
Population and Distribution
The grey-shanked douc langur is critically endangered with a population estimated to be around 550-700, The red-shanked douc langur and the black-shanked langur are both endangered. Populations of all 3 species have declined by 50-80% over the last 30 years.
Douc langurs are hunted for food, for use in traditional medicine and for sale as pets. Laws aimed at protecting them are not always effectively enforced.
What is WWF doing?
Specific work has included programmes to monitor primates, ecological research of red-shanked langurs, conservation planning, improved park management and technical assistance to combat wildlife trade.
- Don't support illegal and unsustainable logging. Only buy FSC certified wood and wood products.
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Did you know?
- Douc is an ancient name of Vietnamese origin thought to mean monkey.
- The red-shanked douc langur's extravagant appearance has given it the alternative name of "costumed ape".