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PLOS ONE  2013 

Habitat Association and Conservation Implications of Endangered Francois’ Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi)

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075661

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Abstract:

Francois’ langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) is an endangered primate and endemic to the limestone forests of the tropical and subtropical zone of northern Vietnam and South-west China with a population of about 2,000 individuals. Conservation efforts are hampered by limited knowledge of habitat preference in its main distribution area. We surveyed the distribution of Francois’ langur and modeled the relationship between the probability of use and habitat features in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China. The main objectives of this study were to provide quantitative information on habitat preference, estimating the availability of suitable habitat, and providing management guidelines for the effective conservation of this species. By comparing 92 used locations with habitat available in the reserve, we found that Francois’ langur was mainly distributed along valleys and proportionally, used bamboo forests and mixed conifer-broadleaf forests more than their availability, whereas they tended to avoid shrubby areas and coniferous forests. The langur tended to occur at sites with lower elevation, steeper slope, higher tree canopy density, and a close distance to roads and water. The habitat occupancy probability was best modeled by vegetation type, vegetation coverage, elevation, slope degree, distances to nearest water, paved road, and farmland edge. The suitable habitat in this reserve concentrated in valleys and accounted for about 25% of the total reserve area. Our results showed that Francois’ langur was not only restricted at the landscapes level at the regions with karst topography, limestone cliffs, and caves, but it also showed habitat preference at the local scale. Therefore, the protection and restoration of the langur preferred habitats such as mixed conifer-broadleaf forests are important and urgent for the conservation of this declining species.

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