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Socioecology of the Annamese Langur in Northeast Cambodia

  Alvaro in the field, beside a huge and very old vine. Photo by Eve Smeltzer

Alvaro Gonzalez-Monge, Spring 2013

Alvaro Gonzalez-Monge conducted his PhD project at Veun Sai’Siem Pang National Park, in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia. He originally planned to study douc langurs but changed his dissertation subject to the Annamese langur (Trachypithecus margarita) because very little was known about this species in Cambodia. Initially, his focus was on the species’ socio-ecological and taxonomic placement. However, because illegal logging was rampant in the area at the time, he decided he would also study the effects that this disturbance had on the group’s behavior and habitat use. Alvaro found that these langurs were somewhat resilient toward human disturbance and were highly adaptable in their resource use, but logging had a significant impact on their ranging and habitat use. The langurs moved higher in the canopy as logging intensified. The study group even abandoned sections of their home range after heavy logging was carried out. Alvaro observed that the langurs slept and fed on the seeds and leaves of some of the tree species that are actively sought by loggers, which is cause for concern if logging remains unchecked. This study has helped increase our knowledge about one of the least-known species of Indochinese primates, but it also provides local people with an alternative livelihood as research assistants, which helps protect the natural heritage of the Annamitic region.

  Annamese langur (Trachypithecus margarita) Photo by Eve Smeltzer

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