Assam villagers are opposing the sanctuary tag for golden langur habitat.
- The Assam Forest Department had issued a preliminary notification for converting the 19.85 sq. km. patch of forest into the Kajoijana Bamuni Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Kakoijana Reserve Forest is one of the better-known homes of the golden langur.
- The villagers demanded that the “conventional idea of wildlife sanctuary” be dropped and the reserve forest converted into a community forest resource “using Forest Rights Act, 2006, to ensure community co-managed system of participation for sustainable conservation.
- The villagers pointed out that the conservation efforts of the locals had helped the authorities concerned to restore the forest canopy from less than 5% to more than 70%, and the golden langur population from less than 100 to more than 600 over almost three decades.
- Scientific Name: Trachypithecus geei
- Golden langurs can be most easily recognized by the color of their fur, after which they are named.
- It has been noted that their fur changes colors according to the seasons as well as geography (region they live in).
- The color of the young also differs from adults in that they are almost pure white.
- They are highly dependent on trees, living in the upper canopy of forests. They are also known as leaf monkeys.
- Habitat: It is endemic to western Assam, India, and southern Bhutan.
- Their habitat is restricted to the region surrounded by four geographical landmarks: the foothills of Bhutan (North), Manas river (East), Sankosh river (West), and Brahmaputra river (South).
- Threats: Restricted Habitat: As mentioned above, their habitat is restricted by natural boundaries further increasing the threat of extinction.
- Habitat Fragmentation: Their habitat in Assam has fragmented drastically especially after a thrust on rural electrification and massive deforestation.
- Conservation Efforts:
- The Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi entrusted the state zoo with the project for the conservation breeding of golden langur in Assam in 2011.
- The recorded estimation in Assam in 2009 was 5,140. Census in 2020 could not be completed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Protection Status:
- IUCN List of Threatened Species: Endangered
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 : Schedule I