“As an individual you can’t change the world, but the world can’t change for the better without you!” Taber Allison
This statement brings home to me how important we all are in finding solutions for the problems the planet faces: global climate change, wars, pollution, and the loss of habitats and biodiversity that human activities are causing. We can’t all go and protect endangered monkeys, as many of the PCI grantees are doing, but we can help them and do our part to live sustainably on our beautiful planet.
News from the field
Stanislav Lhota, Radek Trnka, Pavol Surovec, and Radmila Lorencova from the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic were given a grant of $4,000.00 in March 2005, for their project the Ecology and Conservation Status of White-Fronted langur(Presbytis frontata) in Sangai Wain, Eastern Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia.
“We initiated the first long term study of the white-fronted langur (Presbytis frontata) in Sungai Wain, Indonesia. It had never been photographed or studied more then brief surveys. In Sungai Wain, the monkeys are not hunted and the terrain is relatively accessible so the chances to follow and to habituate the langurs were better.
We used two main methods to find and study is langur: listening for their distinctive morning calls and walking line transects. Both methods brought the best data during the last four months of the project when PCI renewal grant was used to employ four field assistants to help us track them. With our assistants, we started listening to the primate morning calls simultaneously from four listening points, each morning between 4:00 and 8:00. We were able to identify many adult males based on individual characteristics of their morning calls. Later during the morning, we have walked the line transects to locate monkey troops.
Currently we are processing the data from our year of field work. According to the preliminary evaluation, the white fronted langurs occur in the riverine, humid and dryer hill forest over most of the reserve, as well as in the regenerating burned forest. They are absent from the swamp forest in the southern part of the reserve. The population densities of the white-fronted langurs in Sungai Wain are approximately 1 troop per km2. They live in one male multi female troops are highly cryptic (quiet and difficult to detect in their tropical forest).
Besides the ecological research, we have collected data that will be incorporated into an Environmental Impact Assessment of a planned provincial road along the boundary of the Sungai Wain protect forest as well as documenting other conservation values of the area to be affected. We documented the only corridor which connects population of these leaf monkeys and other arboreal primates with populations outside the reserve. We have participated in the campaign to cancel the road construction and to protect the newly identified area. We have also assisted in the development of a new eco-tourist project in Sungai Wain, by selecting the best trekking route and training local guides, who will benefit from this facility. We plan to habituate the white fronted leaf monkey during our next study if we can find the funding to continue our work.” Stanislav Lhota
Dong Thanh Hai of Australian National University was award $2,000.00 Spring, 2004 for his project the Behavioral Ecology and Conservation of Rhinopithecus (Presbytiscus) avunculus in Nahang Nature Reserve, Northern Vietnam
“My project was to study the ecology and behavior of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) in the Tat Ke forest of the Na Hang Nature Reserve from September 2004 to July 2005. This is one of the only four known sites where populations of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey still exist in the world. My research team encountered grave difficulties. There was severe hunting pressure. The population size had declined in the Tat Ke Sector since the last survey of its population. The low population densities made it difficult to find enough monkeys to study for reliable results. The study was also hampered by the difficult terrain: steep, jagged limestone outcroppings; dense foliage; and heavy fog and rain. My team was able to document a single band of 22 individuals comprised of groups in the range of 5-7 members.
In August of 2005 the study was moved to the Khau Ca Tonkin snub-nosed monkey Conservation Area in the buffer zone of Du Gia Nature Reserve, Ha Giang Province where the probability of encountering the monkey is higher since the study area is smaller and the population is larger mostly because there is much less hunting. We have counted 81 monkeys here and group sizes ranged from 8 to 15 animals. We have documented 4 different types of vocalizations: soft ‘hoos’, soft ‘hu-chkks’, loud and rapid ‘hu-chkks’, and ‘chits’. They do not appear to have a marked breeding season since infants were observed through out the study. They do not have fixed sleeping sites. Valleys are often used for their resting and sleeping sites. The monkeys have been seen feeding on mature leaves, young leaves, leaf buds, flowers, buds, ripe and unripe fruits and seeds
On seven occasions, we observed the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey traveling on the ground and one individual was observed feeding on the ground. This is the first documentation of this terrestrial behavior. This study is also the first to document rest-huddling and infant-care behaviors.
More needs to be done to help this snub-nosed monkey to survive in its habitat in North Vietnam. The few protected areas where this species is found needs much more effort from the responsible protected area management boards. These boards will profit from good advice about the threats to and the actual population size of this critically endangered species. Our study provided such evidence in regard to the dramatic decrease in the population of the Tat Ke Sector. More long-term studies on ecology and behavior of the species should be encouraged and carried out in the future as ongoing study seems to be one of the few effective measures to protect the monkeys.” Dong Thanh Hai
How to Support PCI
PCI is an all-volunteer, tax deductible private operating 501 (c) (3) foundation. Since our first grant in 1993 we have supported with full or partial or renewal funding 260 projects in 27 countries with primate habitats. Projects in Asia have received 40% of our funding, African projects 32%, Madagascar 22%, and South America 6%.
If you would like to contribute cash, stock or real estate to PCI or would like more information on a specific project please contact me at the address below.
In order to keep our overhead to a minimum, so that as much of the money raised is used to support field conservation projects, we only send one newsletter per year. This is our annual appeal for your donations. You will not receive other mail from us nor will we share your name with others. We appreciate your support and hope you will give generously .to support one of these primate projects.
Primate Conservation, Inc
Telephone:(401) 364 7140