Gee's golden langur
Gee's golden langur (
Trachypithecus geei), or simply the golden
langur, is an
Old World monkey
Old World monkey found in a small region of western
Assam, India and in the neighboring foothills of the Black
Mountains of Bhutan. It is one of the most endangered primate
species of India. Long considered sacred by many Himalayan people,
the golden langur was first brought to the attention of the western
world by the naturalist E. P. Gee in the 1950s. In a part of
Bhutan, it has hybridised with the capped langur T. pileatus.
1 Discovery and etymology
2 Physical description
4 Behavior and ecology
7.1 Literature cited
8 External links
Discovery and etymology
The earliest record of the golden langur is in Pemberton's 1838 paper
which states that "Griffith observed these monkeys near Tongso in
Central Bhutan." However, Pemberton's work was lost and not
rediscovered until the 1970s, the scientific discovery of the golden
langur unfolded differently. In 1907, E. O. Shebbeare—who was out
with some hunters and forest rangers—reported seeing a "cream
coloured langur" in the vicinity of the Jamduar.[nb 1] However,
neither a photograph nor a live or dead specimen was presented at that
time. The first reference to the golden langur in print, as an animal
of unidentified taxonomic status, was in a 1919 publication that
stated: "Pithecus sp? – A pale yellow coloured langur is common in
the adjoining district of
Goalpara (Assam). Jerdon reported one from
Terai, the adjacent district on the (west) side, which Blanford
suggested might be P. entellus."
At around the time of India's independence in 1947 a number of other
sightings were reported. In February 1947, in the Forest Rest House
visitor's book in Raimona, a few miles south of Jamduar, C. G. Baron
reported seeing some langurs whose "whole body and tail is one colour
– a light silvery-gold, somewhat like the hair of a blonde." A year
later, back in Jamduar, H. E. Tyndale, a tea planter, reported seeing
"Sankosh cream langurs." However, it wasn't until a few years
later that a focused effort to identify the golden langur was mounted
by E. P. Gee, who traveled to Jamduar in November 1953. His team were
able to observe three groups of golden langurs, all on the east bank
of the Sankosh river. The first group was observed on the
of the border; the second group, a large one of 30 to 40 individuals,
a mile north of Jamduar on the Indian side; and a third group four to
five miles (6.44 km to 8.05 km) south near Raimona. Colour
movies of the second group were made by Gee.
In August 1954, Gee reported his findings to an expert at the
Zoological Society of London, who advised that the golden langur might
be a new species. In January 1955, Gee also reported his results to
the Zoological Survey of
India (ZSI) and, after showing his movies of
the golden langurs, suggested that Jamduar be included in the
then-upcoming ZSI-survey of that region. The suggestion received the
support of Dr. Sunder Lal Hora, then Director of ZSI, and later that
year six specimens of the golden langur were collected by the survey
party. The following year, Dr. H. Khajuria, a taxonomist who
studied the specimens, described the new species naming it Presbystis
geei in honour of Gee.[nb 2]
There are two subspecies of this species:
Trachypithecus geei geei Khajuria, 1956
Trachypithecus geei bhutanensis Wangchuk, 2003
The coat of the adult golden langur ranges from cream to golden; on
its flanks and chest the hairs are darker and often rust coloured; the
coats of the juveniles and females are lighter, silvery white to light
buff. The golden langur has a black face and a very long tail
measuring up to 50 cm (19.69 in) in length.
Map showing the two disconnected regions of distribution (within red
rectangles) of the Golden Langur in Assam-
Bhutan and Tripura.
The regions of its distribution are very small; the main region is
limited to an area approximately 60 miles square bounded on the south
by the Brahmaputra River, on the east by the Manas River, on the west
by the Sankosh River, all in Assam, India, and on the north by the
Black Mountains of Bhutan, and the secondary region, 200 miles to
the south-southeast, is in a small portion of the northwestern part of
Tripura state. These biogeographical barriers are believed to have led
to the radiation of species from the closely related capped langur
Trachypithecus pileatus). The best range maps so far are
Choudhury (2002) and Choudhury (2008)
Behavior and ecology
For the most part, the langur is confined to high trees where its long
tail serves as a balancer when it leaps across branches. During the
rainy season it obtains water from dew and rain drenched leaves. Its
diet is herbivorous, consisting of ripe and unripe fruits, mature and
young leaves, seeds, buds and flowers.
It generally lives in troops of about 8 (but sometimes up to 50) with
several females to each adult male. The smallest golden langur troop
was composed of four individuals, while the largest had 22, giving an
average value of 8.2 individuals per troop. The adult gender ratio was
2.3 females to every male, although the majority of groups had only
one adult male.
In 1988, two captive groups of golden langurs were released into two
protected areas of the western region of the state of Tripura, India.
As of 2000, one of these groups, consisting of six (and possibly
eight) individuals in the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, had
Gee's golden langur
Gee's golden langur is currently endangered; a total Indian population
in 2001 of 1,064 individuals, in 130 groups, was recorded. Of these,
approximately 60% were adults indicating a relative lack of infants
and juveniles. The relative death of infants and juveniles indicate
a declining population and with the habitat being degraded by human
activity. A fragmented but protected population in a rubber plantation
Kokrajhar district of
Assam increased in population from
38 individuals in 1997 to 52 in 2002. The population has also adapted
to feeding on dry rubber seeds.
It is also found in kakoijana reserved forest.
^ Jamduar was a village in the early 1900s, which is now a part of the
town of Kokrajhar
^ The new name, Presbystis geei, came to be inadvertently included in
Gee's 1955 short note which was published two months before Khajuria's
1956 paper proposing the name.
^ a b Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.).
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 176.
ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
^ Das, J.; Medhi, R. & Molur, S. (2008). "
IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T22037A9348940.
doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T22037A9348940.en. Retrieved 12 January
^ Choudhury 1988a.
^ Coudhury 1988b.
^ Choudhury 1990.
^ a b c Srivastava et al. 2001, pp. 15–23.
^ Gee 1955.
^ a b c Gee 1961.
^ a b Choudhury 2008.
^ Pemberton 1838.
^ Khajuria 1978.
^ Inglis et al. 1919.
^ a b c d Gee 1961, pp. 1-4.
^ Khajuria 1956.
^ Prater 1971, p. 42.
^ Srivastava et al. 2001, p. 15.
^ Wangchuk, Inouye & Hare 2008.
^ Choudhury 2002.
^ Srivastava et al. 2001, p. 18.
^ Gupta 2000.
^ Medhi et al. 2004.
Choudhury, A. U. (1988a). "Priority ratings for conservation of Indian
primates". Oryx. 22: 89–94. doi:10.1017/S0030605300027551.
Choudhury, A. U. (1988b). "Conservation in Manas Tiger Reserve".
Tigerpaper. 15 (2): 23–27.
Choudhury, A. U. (1990). "Primates in Bhutan". Oryx. 24: 125.
Choudhury, A. U. (2002). "S.O.S. Golden langur". The Rhino Found. NE
India Newsletter. 4: 24–25.
Choudhury, A. U. (2008). "Primates of
Bhutan and observations of
Primate Conservation. 23: 65–73.
Gee, E. P. (1955). "A new species of langur in Assam". Journal of the
Bombay Natural History Society. 53 (2): 252–254.
Gee, E. P. (1961). "The distribution and feeding habit of the golden
langur, Presbytis geei Gee (Khajuria, 1956)". Journal of the Bombay
Natural History Society. 58 (1): 1–12.
Gupta, A.; Chivers, D. J. (2000). "Feeding ecology and conservation of
Trachypithecus geei Khajuria in Tripura, Northeast
India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 97 (3):
Inglis, C. M.; Travers, W. L.; O'Donel, H. V.; Shebbeare, E. O.
(1919). "A tentative list of the vertebrates of the Jalpaiguri
District, Bengal". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 26
Israel, S.; Sinclair, T., eds. (2001). "Indian Wildlife". Discovery
Channel and APA Publications. ISBN 978-981-234-555-4.
Khajuria, H. (1956). "A New Langur (Primates: Colobidae) from Goalpara
District, Assam". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 9: 86–88.
Khajuria, H. (1978). "The golden langur, Presbytis geei Khajuria: Its
discovery, authorship, taxonomic status, and bibliography". Primates.
19: 237–324. doi:10.1007/BF02373243.
Medhi, R.; Chetry, D.; Bhattacharjee, P. C.; Patiri, B. N. (2004).
Trachypithecus geei in a rubber plantation in Western
Assam, India". International Journal of Primatology. 25 (6): 1331.
Mukherjee, R. P.; Saha, S. S. (1974). "The golden langurs (Presbytis
geei Khajuria, 1956) of Assam". Primates. 15 (4): 327.
Pemberton, R. B. (1838). Report on Bootan Indian Studies Past and
Present. Calcutta: G. G. Huttman, Bengal Military Orphan Press.
Prater, S. H. (1971). The book of Indian Animals. Mumbai: Bombay
Natural History Society and Oxford University Press. p. 324.
Srivastava, A.; Biswas, J.; Das, J.; Bujarbarua, P. (2001). "Status
and distribution of golden langurs (
Trachypithecus geei) in Assam,
India". American Journal of Primatology. 55 (1): 15–23.
doi:10.1002/ajp.1035. PMID 11536313.
Srivastava, Arun (2006). "Ecology and conservation of the golden
Trachypithecus geei, in Assam, India" (PDF). Primate
Conservation. 21: 163–170. doi:10.1896/0898-6126.96.36.199. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-06.
Wangchuk, T.; Inouye, D. W.; Hare, M. P. (2003). "A new subspecies of
golden langur (
Trachypithecus geei) from Bhutan". Folia Primatologica.
74 (2): 104. doi:10.1159/000070007.
Wangchuk, T. (2005). The evolution, phylogeography, and conservation
of the golden langur (
Trachypithecus geei) in
Bhutan (Ph.D.). College
Park, MD: Digital Repository of the University of Maryland.
p. 325. [permanent dead link]
Wangchuk, T.; Inouye, D. W.; Hare, M. P. (2008). "The emergence of an
endangered species: evolution and phylogeny of the
of Bhutan". International Journal of Primatology. 29 (3): 565–582.
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Extant species of family
Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys)
(Black and white colobi)
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Angola colobus (C. angolensis)
King colobus (C. polykomos)
Ursine colobus (C. vellerosus)
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Pennant's colobus (P. pennantii)
Preuss's red colobus
Preuss's red colobus (P. preussi)
Thollon's red colobus
Thollon's red colobus (P. tholloni)
Central African red colobus
Central African red colobus (P. foai)
Ugandan red colobus
Ugandan red colobus (P. tephrosceles)
Udzungwa red colobus
Udzungwa red colobus (P. gordonorum)
Zanzibar red colobus
Zanzibar red colobus (P. kirkii)
Tana River red colobus
Tana River red colobus (P. rufomitratus)
Niger Delta red colobus
Niger Delta red colobus (P. epieni)
Olive colobus (P. verus)
Nepal gray langur
Nepal gray langur (S. schistaceus)
Kashmir gray langur
Kashmir gray langur (S. ajax)
Tarai gray langur
Tarai gray langur (S. hector)
Northern plains gray langur
Northern plains gray langur (S. entellus)
Black-footed gray langur
Black-footed gray langur (S. hypoleucos)
Southern plains gray langur
Southern plains gray langur (S. dussumieri)
Tufted gray langur
Tufted gray langur (S. priam)
T. vetulus group:
Purple-faced langur (T. vetulus)
Nilgiri langur (T. johnii)
T. cristatus group:
Javan lutung (T. auratus)
Silvery lutung (T. cristatus)
Indochinese lutung (T. germaini)
Tenasserim lutung (T. barbei)
T. obscurus group:
Dusky leaf monkey
Dusky leaf monkey (T. obscurus)
Phayre's leaf monkey
Phayre's leaf monkey (T. phayrei)
T. pileatus group:
Capped langur (T. pileatus)
Shortridge's langur (T. shortridgei)
Gee's golden langur
Gee's golden langur (T. geei)
T. francoisi group:
François' langur (T. francoisi)
Hatinh langur (T. hatinhensis)
White-headed langur (T. poliocephalus)
Laotian langur (T. laotum)
Delacour's langur (T. delacouri)
Indochinese black langur (T. ebenus)
Sumatran surili (P. melalophos)
Banded surili (P. femoralis)
Sarawak surili (P. chrysomelas)
White-thighed surili (P. siamensis)
White-fronted surili (P. frontata)
Javan surili (P. comata)
Thomas's langur (P. thomasi)
Hose's langur (P. hosei)
Maroon leaf monkey
Maroon leaf monkey (P. rubicunda)
Mentawai langur(P. potenziani)
Natuna Island surili
Natuna Island surili (P. natunae)
Red-shanked douc (P. nemaeus)
Black-shanked douc (P. nigripes)
Gray-shanked douc (P. cinerea)
Golden snub-nosed monkey
Golden snub-nosed monkey (R. roxellana)
Black snub-nosed monkey
Black snub-nosed monkey (R. bieti)
Gray snub-nosed monkey
Gray snub-nosed monkey (R. brelichi)
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (R. avunculus)
Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (R. strykeri)
Proboscis monkey (N. larvatus)
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