Abstract # 2499 Event # 85:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:25 AM-10:35 AM: Session 7 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Oral Presentation


COMMUNITY CONSERVATION: A SOLUTION TO PROTECT THE GOLDEN LANGUR (TRACHYPITHECUS GEEI) AND ITS FORESTS IN ASSAM, INDIA

R. H. Horwich
Community Conservation, 50542 One Quiet Lane, Gays Mills, Wisconsin 54631, USA
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The golden langur, one of India’s most endangered primates, is endemic to western Assam and Bhutan. In the recent past, half of the golden langur’s Indian range has been lost due to a complex political situation. The Golden Langur Conservation Project has strengthened regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and stimulated the creation of over ten community-based organizations (CBOs) to work with government agencies to protect the Indian range of the species including the Manas Biosphere Reserve (200,000 ha). Beginning with small community meetings, expanding to seminars involving NGOs, CBOs and government agencies the awareness campaign culminated in a series of Biosphere celebrations that reached over 35,000 villagers. Additional tools used, involving communities, were forest committees, Self Help Groups and community research projects. Two community co-management models being pursued involve 1) an “island” forest (Kakoijana) protected by a federation of 28 communities and 2) ten CBOs, working with the Assam Forest Department and the Bodoland Territorial Council which have curtailed illegal logging and poaching by 70-90%. The project has resulted in an increase in the golden langur population region-wise. The Kakoijana Reserve Forest (17km2) that has served as a model, has a documented increase in forest growth and village economics as well as an increase of the golden langur population in the past 10 years from 100 to almost 500 langurs in 2008.