Population of this once endangered animal is now stable
Even as concern is growing over the monkey (bonnet macaque) menace assuming alarming proportions practically all over Nilgiris and the demand for action to tackle the problem is becoming strident, wildlife enthusiasts are expressing happiness over a parallel development relating to another primate species. The chances of coming across Nilgiri langurs on the Ooty-Kotagri highway have increased.
According to Conservationist and Wildlife Photographer P. J. Vasanthan, the langurs though seen around the sholas of Naduvattam, Pykara, Sandynullah and the Kundahs during the rest of the year, become a common sight along the wooded stretches of the Ooty-Kotagiri highway during summer.
Stating that it reflects the health of the habitat, he told The Hindu here on Saturday that it should protected to prevent the langurs from going the macaques way and creating problems in human habitations.
The langurs being ‘folivorous’ take advantage of the abundance of tender leaves which sprout during this part of the year in the surrounding sholas.
Once distributed throughout the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, this species was declared 'Endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1990 based on declining population trends which was a result of habitat loss and poaching for their fur and flesh.
Thanks to the blanket ban on felling and strict enforcement of anti-poaching laws, this creature has regained its ground and recent assessments have made the IUCN to down list this animal to 'Vulnerable' since 2004.
Roughly around 20,000-odd individuals are now estimated to be living in the wild of which nearly half are adults.
Dr. Vasanthan added that the langur is normally a shy animal and usually resents observation.
Hence it would be good if passers-by do not stop and stare.
Langurs are usually seen around sholas of Naduvattam, Pykara and Sandynullah They feed on tender leaves which sprout during this part of the year in the surrounding sholas
Langurs are usually seen around sholas of Naduvattam, Pykara and Sandynullah
They feed on tender leaves which sprout during this part of the year in the surrounding sholas