Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

November 2002

Village guarding pogram to protect the golden-headed (Cat Ba) langur

The golden-headed or Cat Ba langur is one of the world’s most endangered primates. There are only 59 Cat Ba langurs surviving, and all but two (which are in captivity) live on Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay off the coast of northern Vietnam. With an area of 140 square miles, Cat Ba is the largest of 3,000 islands comprising a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Halong Bay. The population of Cat Ba langurs has rapidly decreased in the past 20 years due to illegal poaching to supply both local wildlife restaurants and to make monkey bone paste, which is considered to have medicinal properties.

To combat this threat, the German-based conservation organization the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) instituted a langur-guarding program. Under this program, local residents are in charge of guarding particular Cat Ba langur sub-populations against illegal poaching. In return, local guardians’ families receive fishing and sustainable harvesting rights of forest products within their patrol area, as well as a small stipend. Seacology is providing the funding to expand this program to four more sub-populations with a total of 20 langurs, or one third of the world’s remaining Cat Ba langur population.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by

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