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The feeding ecology of Cat Ba langurs on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam
The Cat Ba langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) is one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world. The taxon is endemic to Cat Ba Island and there have only been a small number of studies published on the species. The overall goal of this PhD project is to answer questions about the species ecology of this Critically Endangered primate through an investigation of the feeding ecology and nutritional intake of three study groups. Data were collected on the time spent feeding, and the plant species and plant part being eaten between May 2016 and April 2017. Samples were also collected from both the plants that the langurs were observed to eat and those that the langurs were not seen to eat to compare the chemical composition of the two. It is hoped that the results of this project can be used to help determine correlates of habitat quality to identify critical elements of appropriate habitat for the species. Determining such keystone species could then help to identify and protect appropriate corridors and help determine whether any of the langur groups are more vulnerable to decline due to living in marginalised habitats with lower food availability.
Kayla Ruskin is a PhD candidate in biological anthropology at the Australian National University. Her work explores primate diet and its role in guiding conservation goals, as well as the nutritional impacts of habitat disturbance.