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Indian langur with various names like Hanuman langur, common langur, grey langur, entellus langur,
true langur, Asian leaf-eating monkey is the sacred animal of India named under the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman.
These are group of monkeys with the genus Semnopithecus and the zoological name Semnopithecus entellus. It falls under the Cercopithecidae family and order Primates.
It is believed that out of 15 subspecies around 7 subspecies are falling under one species named 'Semnopithecus entellus' and is widely distributed in various parts of India.
|Common name||Scientific name||Other names||Pictures|
|Nepal gray langur||Semnopithecus schistaceus||central Himalayan langur, Nepal gray langur|
|Kashmir gray langur||Semnopithecus ajax||dark-eyed Himalayan langur, Himalayan gray langur, Kashmir gray langur, western Himalayan langur|
|Tarai gray langur||Semnopithecus hector||gray langur, Hanuman langur, lesser hill langur, Tarai gray langur|
|Northern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus entellus||Bengal hanuman langur, common langur, entellus langur, gray langur, Hanuman langur, northern plains gray langur, true langur|
|Black-footed gray langur||Semnopithecus hypoleucos||black-footed gray langur, dark-legged Malabar langur|
|Southern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus dussumieri||Dussumier's Malabar langur, southern plains gray langur|
|Tufted gray langur||Semnopithecus priam||Madras gray langur, tufted gray langur|
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In general, Indian langurs have large body with black face and ears.
Their fur color is extremely gray. Like other animals the males are larger than the females. They possess a long tail with long strong limbs which help them to climb trees in an agile fashion and the tail providing balance.
The male grows upto 51 to 78 cm long while the females vary from 40 to 68 cm. The length of the tail measures about 3 feet. Males and females weigh around 11.5 - 18.3 kg and 11-12 kg respectively.
Langurs can walk quadrupedally and spend their time on ground during day hours and diurnal, sleep on trees during night hours. They can make bipedal hops, climbing and descending supports with the body upright, and leap. Their life span ranges from 20 - 25 years.The subspecies differ with few of the physical color variation although they seem similar in majority of its appearance and behavior.
Some subspecies are:
Semnopithecus ajax - The body size of this subspecies is very large. On the ventrum it has a yellowish-white coloration, brown color on the dorsum and the darkest on the limbs and forelimbs.
Semnopithecus dussumieri - It is the smallest langur of all the other subspecies. It has the combination of mauve or gray-brown with yellow on ventrum, the upper rear parts are white in color and with cream color on the head.
Semnopithecus entellus - It has the color of gray-brown or combination of Red or orange tinge with yellow in the rear side.
Semnopithecus entellus - It has the color of gray-brown or combination of Red or orange tinge with yellow in the rear side. It has an average body size with a red-gold belly.
Semnopithecus hypoleucos - It is a medium sized gray langur and the limbs are colored with the combination of purplish-brown and black. The belly is orange in color. It has more body hair and sports a black colored tail.
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Semnopithecus priam - It is medium sized, pale brown-gray langur with white colored head.
It has pale yellow color on ventrum. The tail has a white end and at times the feet also look white.
Semnopithecus schistaceus - These are medium-sized gray langur with white colored head, brown colored on the ventrum, upper hindquarters, and tail tip.
In common, the gray languar can be found in various habitats like mountain scrubs, tropical, pine, dry thorn scrubs and alpine forest as well in cities or urban areas of India. Their habitat may also include evergreen forest, deciduous forest, subtropical forest, riverine forest. The 7 subspecies are distributed in various parts of India and other countries as specified in line:
|Common name||Scientific name||Places distributed|
|Nepal gray langur||Semnopithecus schistaceus||North India, Himalayas, South western china, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan|
|Kashmir gray langur||Semnopithecus ajax||Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir|
|Tarai gray langur||Semnopithecus hector||Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, Himalayan foot hills|
|Northern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus entellus||Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and West Bengal|
|Black-footed gray langur||Semnopithecus hypoleucos||Goa, Karnataka and Kerala|
|Southern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus dussumieri||Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh|
|Tufted gray langur||Semnopithecus priam||Karnataka and Tamil Nadu|
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Bandhavgarh National Park: Bandhavgarh National Park is located at Madhya Pradesh, India with an area of about 450 square kilometers.
The thick forest of Bandhavgarh National Park sits in between the cliffs of the Vindhyan Mountains. The forest has the wild attraction like Northern plain gray langur, Indian leopard, Elephants, Tiger, Nilgai, Chital, Chinkara, Indian Muntjac Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar and Fox or Golden Jackal. Elephant safari and Jeep safari are conducted in order to view all the wildlife of Bandhavgarh National park.
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a wildlife sanctuary located in Ooty, Nilgiris district (Blue hills), Tamilnadu, and South India with an area of 321 Square Kilometers. The fauna here includes Tufted gray langur, Bengal tiger, Indian Elephant, Indian leopard, etc. The interesting programs at this sanctuary are the Elephant safari and the Elephant feeding camp wherein the people can view while the elephants are fed.
Nagarhole National Park: It is one of the oldest national parks in India located in Coorg, in the South Indian state of Karnataka with an area of about 645 square kilometers. It is the habitat of various endangered species specified in the IUCN listing. The animals that are found commonly in the park are Black footed and Southern plains Gray Langur, elephants, tiger, leopard, panther, gaur, sloth bear, sambhar, chital and many other mammals.
Rajaji National Park:
It is an Indian national park located in the foothills of Himalayas with an area of about 820 square kilometers. The fauna here comprises of Terai gray langur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, Leopard, Bengal tiger, etc.
Dachigam National Park: It is an Indian national park located in Jammu and Kashmir among the high mountains of western Himalayas with an area of about 141 square kilometers. The fauna here comprises of Nepal or Himalayan gray langur, Jackal, Leopard, Musk deer, etc.
The other national parks where the Langur is found are Ranthambore national park, Sariska national park, Periyar National park, Kaziranga national park, Jim Corbett National park, etc.
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The gray langurs are plant eating animals and feed on leaves, fruits, flowers, shoots, buds, coniferous needles,
cones, grass, bamboo, bananas, ferns, mosses, lichens and buds. At times they consume agricultural crops and human food.
- They usually occur in any of the three variant groups:
- Multi-male group - Group consisting of males and females of all age.
- Uni-male group - Group consisting of one adult male, many females and one offspring.
- All male groups - Small group comprising of adults and sub adults. When a new male takes over the troop it kills the off springs of the previous alpha male
The females attain their maturity at 3- 4 yrs of age while the males at an age of 4-5 yrs. In uni-male group, the one adult male is the sole breeder for the females and sires all the off springs. In a multi male group, the highest ranking or adult male breeds most of the female followed by the next ranking males and sires all their off springs.
Even though the females show no sign for their mating readiness, the males tend to deduce by some means and approaches them. Following which, the female accepts by shaking their head, lowering their tail and presenting the anogential region. A new male when it immigrates to a group, sends out the prior male, and would infanticide the young that belongs to the prior male.
The gestation period is around 180 to 210 days (6 - 7 months), after which a single infant is born during the night time. The young ones are born with thin dark brown hair and pale skin weighing about 0.5 kg. They are weaned by their parents for 13 months. After 6 weeks they start to walk, run, and jump slowly. Alloparenting among langurs occurs when infant reach two years of age.
Threats to Gray Langur
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Eventhough the population of gray languar is seeming to be stable in some parts of the India;
still there are some places where the population decline is noticeable. The preeminent threats are the habitat loss, hunting, Man-animal conflict, accidents, diseases, predation, deforestation, and trade for the traditional medicine and meat. Loss of habitat may include various factors like use of these species habitat for mining, firewood and charcoal collection and production, timber collection, urbanization, and land distribution for landless people.
|Common name||Scientific name||IUCN listing||Population statistics|
|Nepal gray langur||Semnopithecus schistaceus||Least concern||Low densities are found in Sikkim|
|Kashmir gray langur||Semnopithecus ajax||Endangered||Around 500 species are estimated to be populated in the snow peaks of Kashmir and declining day by day|
|Tarai gray langur||Semnopithecus hector||Near threatened in Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal||Population is unknown. There is a population decline in habitat of Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal|
|Northern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus entellus||Least concern||Population is unknown. There is a population decline because of the human encroachment|
|Black-footed gray langur||Semnopithecus hypoleucos||Vulnerable||Population is unknown. There is a population decline because of the hunting and habitat loss|
|Southern plains gray langur||Semnopithecus dussumieri||Least concern||Population is unknown and is found to stable.|
|Tufted gray langur||Semnopithecus priam||Near threatened in the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu||Population is unknown. There is a population decline in habitat of Andhra Pradesh|
Conservation effort in India
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This species is listed in Appendix I of CITES, World Protection Act against hunting.
Indian government has implemented laws prohibiting the killing or smuggling of langurs in various national parks and sanctuaries.
The implementations may include some management actions like habitat management and assessment, wild population management, public awareness and monitoring.
Mythology reveals that the Monkey is the sacred animal of India and is believed as a form of Hanuman, the Hindu god of healing. Puranas say that the monkey-god Hanuman burned a town in order to save a woman which resulted in burns. The black face and hands of the langur are believed to represent Hanuman's burns.
2. The predators for Langurs are Tiger, Leopards, Wolves and Jackal.
3. The call of the Langur is 'Whoop' which is given by the adult male to lead their group.
4. The maximum life span can be 29 years.
5. They have the below classification
|Zoological name||Semnopithecus entellus|