Behavioral ecology and threats of Golden Langurs in Fragmented habitats of Assam, India
Primate Research Centre Ne IndiaAuthors
Authors: Jihosuo Biswas1, Sudipta Nag1, Joydeep Shil1 ; 1 Primate Research Center Ne India, Guwahati
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Golden Langur Trachypithecus geei (Khajuria, 1956), is an endangered species under Schedule I and is endemic to India and Bhutan. It is found in the region bounded by three rivers: Sankosh in the east, Manas in the west, and Brahmaputra in the south. Rapid habitat loss and habitat fragmentation are the main threats of Golden Langurs. Our study tries to explain the behavior of the species in disturbed habitats and to access the threat factors faced by the species.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
Two troops of Golden Langurs were selected from two different sites for the study. One of the sites was a natural habitat (Kakoijana Reserve Forest) and the other was a plantation area (Nayekgaon Rubber Plantation) of Western Assam, India. During the study period (October-November) Scan Animal Sampling (Altman, 1974) method was used for diurnal behavioral data collection. The major activities recorded were feeding, resting, locomotion, grooming and other maintenance activities. Some secondary data was also collected for threat analysis. Home range analysis was also done during the study with the help of a handheld GPS.
Results: What are your most important results?
Kakoijana troop spend more time on feeding and resting than the Nayekgaon troop while the Nayekgaon troop spends more time in locomotion and other activities. Both the troops were recorded to spend nearly equal time on grooming activities. Home range of the Kakoijana troop was found to be more than the Nayekgaon troop. Killing by dog, electrification, habitat degradation were recorded as major threats to the Golden Langur population in those areas.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
This study tries to explain the difference in behavioral patterns in two different types of habitats which gives us an overview of the change in behavior due to change in habitat. Threat analysis helps us in suggesting effective measures for conservation of the species. The study is in progress and we hope it can lead further long term research and management for the conservation of the species.