OuTrop’s Red Langur Research Project began in 2009 by David Ehlers Smith for his PhD at Oxford Brookes University (UK). The aims of the project are concerned with collecting all the ecological parameters that inform conservation management of red langurs, or kelasi as they are known locally.
To that end, we’re interested in their population status, natural behaviour, eating habits, and spatial ranging. Our experienced field staff, university students and research interns follow red langur groups collecting these data, adding to our ever-growing database on individually identified groups and individuals.
Red langurs (Presbytis rubicunda) are only found on the island of Borneo and our work is some of the first long-term behavioural ecology and conservation studies on this species of monkey. Red langurs are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
So far, we have collected population density surveys in the Natural Laboratory of Peat-swamp Forest (LAHG), a special zone within the Sebangau National Park, indicating that this forest is home to a large and crucial red langur population. Eight groups of langurs have been identified within the research area and one is followed regularly, facilitating data collection of behavioural, ranging and feeding ecology, including over 120 food items from over 80 tree and liana species during more than 1,200 follow hours.
In recent years, we’ve published many papers in quality, peer-reviewed journals that show how our fascinating and rather unique peat-swamp environment is shaping the langurs’ ecology, and adds to the growing consensus that Sebangau National Park is a vital stronghold for the persistence of Borneo’s incredible biodiversity.