Cat Ba Langur or Golden-headed Langur or White-headed Langur

(Trachypithecus poliocephalus)


Cat Ba Langur or Golden-headed Langur or White-headed Langur IUCN CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (CR)


Facts about this animal

Golden-headed langurs reach a head-body length of 50-60 cm and a body-weight of 15-20 kg. The tail length ranges from 82-89 cm. Like other langur species, they have slim hands and feet and reduced thumbs, a sacculated stomach to assist in the breakdown of cellulose and large salivary glands to assist it in breaking down food. The fur colour ranges from bright golden to yellowish-white on the head, shoulders, and rump, the back is dark chocolate brown, almost black, and there is a grey band running from the thighs to the back, forming a V-shape above the tail root. The long hair of the back forms a shoulder cape. The fur colour of infants is a flamboyant orange.


Golden-headed langurs are social, diurnal and arboreal. An average social group comprises 4 to 5 animals. They live in forests around limestone formations, at an elevation from 70-100 meters, and regularly sleep in caves throughout the year. One langur group may have up to 12 different resting caves. The group spends only one or two nights in the same cave before moving on to other feeding and sleeping places.


The golden-headed langur gives birth to a single offspring. The breeding season of this species is probably in April.


The diet of the golden-headed langur mainly consists of leaves, but also includes fresh shoots, flowers, bark and some fruits that are not palatable to human beings. Most of the langur’s food has very high concentration of fibre and tannic acids, and it often contains substances that would be poisonous to other animals, including human beings.

Did you know?
That the only known locality where this langur occurs is the island of Cat Ba in northern Viet Nam? There is no evidence that the Cat Ba Langur ever inhabited the mainland.


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Trachypithecus poliocephalus
Name (English) Cat Ba Langur or Golden-headed Langur or White-headed Langur
Name (French) Langur de Cat Ba
Name (German) Goldkopflangur
Name (Spanish) Langur de Cabeza Dorada
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Jörg Adler



Range Viet Nam (Island of Cat Ba)
Habitat Karst and forest on limestone
Wild population T. p. poliocephalus: 64 individuals (2006); T. p. leucocephalus: 700-800 individuals (2003) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 0 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Cat Ba Langur or Golden-headed Langur or White-headed Langur


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Jörg Adler

Why do zoos keep this animal

Currently no golden-headed leaf-monkeys are kept outside VietNam, but a few zoos participate in an in situ conservation project.