From: The Prakriti Foundation
Published October 27, 2004 09:26 AM

Prakriti Foundation Begins Conservation Work On Endangered Capped Langur

Dhaka-


Capped Langur (Trachypithecus pileatus) is a globally endangered primate that is found mostly in Bangladesh and some parts of India and Myanmar. Its beautiful orange red colour with greyish back, long tail, large sparkling eyes and shy nature easily attracts attention. Most naturalists will fall in love with this beautiful primate at first sight. The animal is arboreal and lives on tall Sal trees (Shorea robusta) and survive on leaves and some fruits.


In the past capped langur used to be found in many parts of Bangladesh, including the sal forests of Dhaka, but it has now primarily survived in the sal forests of Modhupur National Park in Tangail District, some hundred kilometers from capital Dhaka. With pressure of population and human greed to grab land for agriculture, industries, defence installations, offices, etc., the rich sal forest is disappearing fast, contributing to the dwindling of the number of capped langur in Bangladesh from some 3000 in the late 1980s to as low 500 hundred now. The situation is quite alarming and needs urgent action.


The Prakriti Foundation, headed by Syed Noor Hossain, a former ambassador and nature photographer, is giving a major drive to conserve sal forest and protect the endangered capped langur. The other members of the team include former Deputy Chief Conservator of Forest, A.Z.M. Shamsul Huda and experienced biologist and expert on capped langur, Abdul Wahab Akonda. Prakriti has recently published a poster with the slogan, “Save the Capped Langur”. In December this year it aims to bring out the first issue of Prakriti Photo, a conservation photography journal with cover story on capped langur. The magazine will sell internationally for five US dollars and can be obtained from the Prakriti Foundation.


In a recent trip to the Modhupur National Park, the Prakriti team identified some key areas in the park where groups of capped langur were found. Since the forest is also inhabited by Garo tribal people who use forest resources and use roads, it is important that the habitat of the capped langur, particularly the tall sal trees are protected by fencing those areas. During the trip the Prakriti team went into the forest and noticed that, despite protection by the local forest office, some tall sal trees were felled by greedy people. It is reported that outside traders, with the help of local tribal people and at times forest officials, are engaged in continuous felling of saal forest. The fencing of some individual forest areas will at least make it difficult for miscreants to destroy the sall forests and threaten the life of capped langur.


The Prakriti Foundation is requesting the the Bangladesh government to financially support the project for the conservation of sal forest in Bhawal National Park in Dhaka and Modhupur National Park in Tangail. It also appeals to the individual and institutional donors abroad to come forward for assistance.


For more information, subscription of Prakriti Photo magazine or donation, please contact: Syed Noor Hossain at prakriti@dhaka.net or prakriti_president@yahoo.com. The website of the Prakriti Foundation, www.prakritifoundation.org, is currently re-constructed and will be operational in the near future. The location and telephone are as follows: The Prakriti Foundation House No.29, Road No.12, Sector No.4, Uttara, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh, Tel: (880-2) 895-2733.


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