Semnopithecus priam 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Semnopithecus priam
Species Authority: Blyth, 1844
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Tufted Gray Langur, Madras Grey Langur, Coromandel Sacred Langur
Semnopithecus pallipes Blyth, 1844
Semnopithecus priamus Blyth, 1847
Taxonomic Notes: Semnopithecus priam is here provisionally treated as a polytypic species including two recognized subspecies: S. p. priam and S. p. thersites (Brandon-Jones 2004; Groves 2005). However, limited evidence suggests that there are consistent differences between the two taxa, which may necessitate recognition of the two forms as distinct species (C. Groves pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Molur, S., Singh, M. & Kumar, A.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Near Threatened as although the species is safe in a few habitats in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu it is in significant decline in Andhra Pradesh and Sri Lanka because of widespread habitat loss and hunting through much of its range, but the rates for this species are not yet high enough to qualify for Vulnerable (criterion A2d).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widely distributed in southern India and Sri Lanka.

S. p. priam
Occurs south of river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, but the actual areas of occupancy are sparse in between (Molur et al. 2003), with large areas absent of langurs. The forests of the Eastern Ghats are not contiguous, have highly degraded dry deciduous forests, and are for the most part scrubby. The ratio of extent of occurrence to area of occupancy is very high (A. Kumar, M. Singh and S. Molur pers. comm.).

S. p. thersites
It is found in the southern Western Ghats in India and in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. However, there are some
populations of langurs on the foothills of southern India along the western slopes of the Western Ghats and in the Palghat gap, whose identity has not been established. Extent of occurrence is around 10,000 km2 in India and around 40,000 km2 in Sri Lanka. Area of occupancy is almost contiguous in the Indian portion, while it is about one-fourth in Sri Lanka.
Countries occurrence:
India; Sri Lanka
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size is unknown. There is a continuing decline in habitat in Andhra Pradesh that suggests a decline in population, but the rates are unknown (A. Kumar, M.Singh and S. Molur pers. comm.). In Sri Lanka, there has been a drastic decline in habitat (>50% in the last 30 years), and there is more than 50% decline in population over the last 3 generations (Molur et al. 2003; A. Nekaris pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in tropical dry evergreen forest, riparian, dry deciduous forest, coastal forest, gardens, around temples in Sri Lanka and cultivated areas (Molur et al. 2003). It is found in India up to 1,200 m and in Sri Lanka up to 500 m (Molur et al. 2003; A. Nekaris pers. comm.). It is arboreal, semi-terrestrial, folivorous and frugivorous, and diurnal. In southern India these langurs are not very commensal with humans (M. Singh pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting and habitat loss are the major threats (Molur et al. 2003). Hunting is rampant in the Eastern Ghats and the forests of the eastern coast, and common in some areas near national parks, like for example Ruhuna National Park (Molur et al. 2003). The habitats are highly vulnerable to human activities, and very few places are protected. Man-animal conflicts in Andhra Pradesh are also a concern. Other threats include capture for pets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix I, and is on Schedules II, Part I, Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 amended up to 2002 (Molur et al. 2003). In Sri Lanka it is included under the Fauna and Flora Protection Act number 2 (Molur et al. 2003). It occurs in several protected areas throughout its range in India (Sri Venkateshwara National Park, Nellapattu Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Biligiri Rangsweamy Temple Sanctaury, Mudumalai Sanctaury, Chinnar Sanctuary, Neyyar Sanctuary, Peppara Sanctuary, Parambikulam Sanctuary, Shendurney Sanctuary, Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary, Indira Gandhi Sanctuary, Kalakad Sanctuary, and Mundanthurai Sanctuary), and in Sri Lanka (Knuckle Range Forest Reserve, Ampara Sanctuary, Buddaragala Sanctuary, Kanthale Naval Sanctuary, Wilpattu National Park, Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve, Angamedilla National Park, Flood Plains National Park, Giritale National Park, Moragaswawe National Park, Somawathie National Park, Wasagamuwa National Park, Uduwalawe National Park, Bundala National Park, Lunugamvehera National Park, Madura Oya National Park and Ruhuna National Park).

Molur et al. (2003) suggests research on taxonomy, man-animal conflict, more surveys, as well as habitat management, wild population management, public education, monitoring, and limiting factor management.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  major importance:No
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Brandon-Jones, D. 2004. A taxonomic revision of the langurs and leaf monkeys (primates: Colobinae) of South Asia. Zoos’ Print Journal 19(8): 1552–1594.

Groves, C. P. 2001. Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Primates. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 111-184. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Molur, S., Brandon-Jones, D., Dittus, W., Eudey, A., Kumar, A., Singh, M., Feeroz, M. M., Chalise, M., Priya, P. and Walker, S. 2003. Status of South Asian Primates: Conservation Assessment and Managment Plan Report. Workshop Report, 2003. Zoo Outreach Organization/CBSG-South Asia, Coimbatore, India.

Citation: Molur, S., Singh, M. & Kumar, A. 2008. Semnopithecus priam. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T135440A4128558. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided