Himalayan Semnopithecus entellus at Langtang National Park, Nepal: Diet, Activity Patterns, and Resources

  • Ken Sayers
  • Marilyn A. Norconk


Though researchers have studied lowland gray langurs extensively, there is little information about the Himalayan populations. We provide foraging data from a field study of Himalayan langurs in Langtang National Park, Nepal at 3000–4000 m elevation. Phenological records show marked seasonality in resource abundance, with extremely low availability in winter, increasing abundance in spring and monsoon, and a reduction in fall. Activity budgets indicated greater time devoted to feeding as total vegetation abundance decreased. Diet included leaf buds, ripe fruit, and evergreen mature leaves in winter; deciduous young leaves in spring; and deciduous mature leaves in the monsoon and fall. Supplemental resources, such as underground storage organs, bark, and herbaceous vegetation, were also seasonally important. Among plant part classes included in the phenological sample, abundance and consumption correlate positively for all primary food resources except evergreen mature leaves and unripe fruit. Daily path lengths varied by season and, when controlled for overall vegetation abundance, positively relate to the consumption of soft underground storage organs, fruits, and deciduous mature leaves. The results contradict the common generalization of leaves as ubiquitous or nonpatchy resources.


colobines diet ranging seasonality Semnopithecus entellus socioecology 



We thank L. S. B Leakey Foundation and Kent State University School of Biomedical Sciences for their financial support. Ram Rimal and Ranger Ming Mav Chhewang Tamang provided invaluable field assistance, and the Langtang National Park staff provided welcome aid and encouragement. Achyut Ahdikari waded through botanical minutiae, Nina Jablonski and Mukesh Chalise offered advice on Nepalese fieldwork, and Ryan Seltzer helped with data analysis. We also thank Daniel Taylor-Ide and Robert Fleming, Jr. for their assistance in the selection of Langtang as a Himalayan langur field site, Himalayan Glacier Trekking and Cemat Water Lab for handling logistics, and Dindu Lama and family for everything else. We conducted this research in conjunction with the Nepal Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and School of Biomedical SciencesKent State UniversityKentUSA

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