Conserving the Fragmented Golden langur populations in Anthropogenic Habitat Matrix

Why was this project important? 

Deforestation, conversion of forests to farmland, and human settlement have led to severe fragmentation of golden langur habitats in Assam, India. Many populations had already extirpated/extinct locally due to extensive fragmentation, while others are small, isolated, and demographically and genetically vulnerable. Linear infrastructure development has exacerbated the situation resulting in casualties due to road-collisions and electrocution while golden langur straying in village areas has increased man-monkey conflict. To restore connectivity and maintain viable populations in these fragments, meta-population management is proposed by establishing canopy bridges and community-managed corridors through neighbourhood plantations in the village matrix for regular population exchange and coexistence.

Project Partner: Conservation Himalayas 

Duration: 2024 – 2025 

Project goal:To mitigate mortality, restore landscape connectivity, and support the peaceful coexistence of golden langur through meta-population management interventions.

What we are doing

The canopy bridges aim to provide functional connectivity where canopy maintenance is infeasible and can be used to replace the lack of connectivity between fragments. They will stimulate the aerial crossing of golden langurs between forest patches to access their home range and reduce casualties. In the long term, they will provide canopy connectivity and facilitate the safe passage of golden langur in the anthropogenic habitat matrix.

Due to straying and crop depredation, hostile relations and conflict prevail among communities towards golden langur.  Also, a lack of awareness leads to negative attitudes and perceptions. The project will provide an effective attitudinal change and a conducive relationship for coexistence and gaining their support. We will focus on local capacity building and knowledge-based empowerment of the communities. We will also prepare a team of trained leaders who could play a stewardship role, instilling pride and ownership in communities that will provide an enabling environment for engagement in favour of golden langur conservation.

We will also restore community-managed natural corridors through planting trees in the village matrix and in the neighbourhood to support the ecological need of the species as well as increase coexistence opportunities.