|Categories||Ecotourism, Education, Mammals, Primates|
|Date||9 Feb 2016|
Malaysian primates face serious threats by deforestation, which has been leading to major losses of their natural habitat. Primates of Penang are particularly understudied and the increasing development in Penang has exacerbated environmental hazards, which consequently caused that only very few natural forested areas are left today. Nowadays, the Dusky Leaf Monkeys/ Langurs (Trachypithecus obscurus) can be seen in residential areas, at ecotourism sites and orchards, where they search for food and shelter. Surprisingly, there has been nothing ever done on the ecology and behavior of langurs on Peninsular Malaysia.
For this project, Langur Project Penang (LPP) will be investigating the activity patterns, habitat use and the diet of the langurs in undisturbed areas and anthropogenic environments in Penang. We will be working out a comparative design on 2 groups from more natural and undisturbed environment with another 2 groups from anthropogenically-influenced study sites . The range of food plants available for langurs in different study sites will be investigated through evaluating the phenology patterns to assess the annual food availability.
One of the long term objectives of Langur Project Penang is to become an established NGO that offers environment education focused on primates (but not exclusively) to local residents and schools, by collaborating with other educational NGOs and institutions in Malaysia. With the granting of Rufford Small Grant, LPP is able to approach the governmental/non-governmental bodies in Penang in a more official way and propose the ideas to collaborate in a primate conservation project for Penang that uses an ecotourism and educational approach. The outcome of the research will help us in gaining understanding towards the relationship of these primates with anthropogenic environment and natural rainforest habitat and use this knowledge to effectively work towards a “Langur Conservation Plan”, which takes into account of primate ecology, anthropogenic influences, use of ecotourism to create awareness for primate conservation and nature education. This plan will be published and publicly available.
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