International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

Diet of Pygathrix nigripes in Southern Vietnam

  • Hoang Minh Duc
  • G. S. BaxterEmail author
  • Manda J. Page


Black-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nigripes) are Southeast Asian colobines about which primatologists know very little, but they are classed as endangered because of population decline due to habitat loss. Two preliminary studies have shown that this monkey is primarily folivorous, but there are few details of plant selection or seasonal changes in diet. We set out to observe douc langurs directly in the wild to quantify the diet during wet and dry seasons. We confirmed that the species relies on foliage throughout the year, but it includes significant proportions of fruit and flowers in its diet when those items are available. The douc langurs selected various parts from 152 species of plants in 2 national parks, but there did not appear to be favorite species that were heavily selected over others. In both the wet and dry seasons, the black-shanked douc langurs ate mostly leaves, but the diversity of plants consumed increased and the proportion of fruit eaten almost doubled in the wet season. There were diurnal shifts in food selection, but we found no evidence that the douc langurs were foraging strategically to maximize their protein or energy intake.


Black-shanked douc langur diet Vietnam folivory seasonal diets 



Conservation International, Primate Conservation Inc., SeaWorld & Busch Gardens, and The University of Queensland, Australia provided funding for this study. Luu Hong Truong and Ly Ngoc Sam from The Institute of Tropical Biology assisted in identification of plants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hoang Minh Duc
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. S. Baxter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manda J. Page
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Natural & Rural Systems ManagementThe University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Institute of Tropical BiologyHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.School of Natural & Rural Systems ManagementThe University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Wildlife ConservancyChidlowAustralia

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