The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the Cat Ba langur as one of the most critically endangered primate species of the World, due to its small population size and restricted range.
In the past, poaching constituted the primary threat to langur survival and resulted in a population decline from estimated 2,500-2,800 individuals in the 1960s, to a mere 50 individuals today.
As a result of this steep decline in numbers, the remaining langur population is now highly fragmented and low reproductive output threatens their future survival.
At the end of 1999, alarmed by reports that there might have only about 100 langurs survived on Cat Ba Island, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) and the Westfälischer Zoologischer Garten Münster immediately took steps to implement a conservation programme for this endangered primate species.
The “Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project” was started in November 2000.
The stopping of langur poaching therefore became the main objective of the conservation project. Project activities concentrated on the close monitoring of the langur population, the implementation of protection measures and the capacity building of the Cat Ba National Park staff. These efforts have culminated in bringing hunting of langurs to a halt, and for the first time in decades the World’s only remaining population of the Cat Ba langurs has increased.