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Capped Langur - UPSC Current Affairs

The Capped Langur is a captivating primate native to South Asia. With its arboreal lifestyle, social behavior, and herbivorous diet, it plays a crucial role in the delicate ecosystems of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Myanmar. Threatened by habitat loss, conservation efforts are vital to their survival.

Jun 19, 2023

3 min read

Nestled within the dense subtropical and tropical dry forests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Myanmar, resides a captivating primate known as the Capped Langur (Trachypithecus pileatus). This unique species, belonging to the family Cercopithecidae, showcases remarkable behavior, diverse subspecies, and a significant role in its ecosystem.




The Capped Langur's natural habitat consists of the lush, green canopies of subtropical and tropical dry forests. However, this mesmerizing creature is facing an imminent threat due to habitat loss. Deforestation and human encroachment are rapidly diminishing their once thriving habitats, leaving them vulnerable and endangered.


These arboreal beings find solace among the treetops, skillfully navigating their surroundings. Capped Langurs are highly social animals, often forming herds ranging from 2 to 14 individuals, led by a dominant male. Their gregarious nature fosters a sense of unity and cooperation within the group, ensuring their survival in challenging environments.


As herbivores, Capped Langurs sustain themselves by consuming a variety of plant-based foods. Their diet predominantly consists of leaves, twigs, buds, and fruits. A study conducted during winter revealed fascinating insights into their dietary preferences. These langurs were observed spending nearly 40% of their daytime foraging, with leaves constituting approximately 60% of their diet. Furthermore, they exhibited a diverse palate, foraging on up to 43 different plant species. This adaptability showcases their resourcefulness and ability to thrive in diverse ecosystems.


Within the Capped Langur species, four distinct subspecies have been identified: Trachypithecus pileatus pileatus, Trachypithecus pileatus durga, Trachypithecus pileatus brahma, and Trachypithecus pileatus tenebricus. Each subspecies exhibits subtle variations in physical characteristics, behavior, and distribution, further highlighting the richness of biodiversity within the Capped Langur population.


The conservation of Capped Langurs is of utmost importance to preserve the delicate balance of their ecosystems. Efforts are being made to protect their habitats, raise awareness about their endangered status, and promote sustainable practices. Organizations and researchers are working tirelessly to study their behavior, habitat requirements, and population dynamics, aiding in the formulation of effective conservation strategies.


Witnessing the grace and beauty of these enchanting primates is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Their presence in the forests not only adds to the splendor of South Asia's natural landscapes but also plays a vital role in maintaining the delicate ecological equilibrium. Protecting the Capped Langur means safeguarding the biodiversity and interconnectedness of the ecosystems they inhabit.


In conclusion, the Capped Langur is a mesmerizing primate species found in the subtropical and tropical dry forests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Myanmar. Their arboreal nature, social behavior, diverse subspecies, and herbivorous diet make them an integral part of their ecosystems. It is our responsibility to ensure their survival by taking proactive measures to conserve their habitats and raise awareness about the importance of preserving these magnificent creatures. By doing so, we contribute to the preservation of the natural wonders that make our planet so extraordinary.


Image credit: Lonav Bharali

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