Francois’ Langurs, also known as Leaf Monkeys, are an endangered species, with as few as 800 thought to be left. The main threats to this species are habitat loss and hunting. Francois’ Langurs are killed for meat, traditional medicines and black ape wine, which is believed to cure fatigue and other ailments. Habitat destruction from mining and the harvesting of wood has reduced food sources and fragmented their habitats, isolating populations.
These monkeys can now only be found from southern China to north-eastern Vietnam.
Taronga Zoo has played a key role in developing a breeding program in Australia. This program is designed to maintain a genetically healthy population of Francois’ Langurs, to act as insurance against catastrophic events and vast population decline in the wild. Through displaying langurs at the Zoo, we also hope to inspire visitors to take action to help save this species from extinction.
Taronga Zoo is the first zoo to care for and breed Francois’ Langurs in the region. Our goal is to successfully breed these monkeys and develop expertise in the care and reproductive management of the species.
These efforts were rewarded with the birth of a female, Elke, in March 2009. Further, after two years of hard work and planning, the program was boosted by the arrival of Bobo and Meili, a pair of Francois’ Langurs from a zoo in Beijing. These langurs bring valuable new bloodlines to the group.