Fun Red-shanked Douc Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Red-shanked douc facts talk about how these monkeys are found in Vietnam.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Do you want to know about red-shanked douc langurs, an amazing Old World species? Then keep reading this article to learn more about this amazing animal.

The red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) is an Old World monkey, and one of the only three species of doucs besides black shanked doucs and gray shanked doucs. These monkeys belong to the family Cercopithecidae and genus Pygathrix. Native to the undisturbed forests of evergreen, semi-evergreen, and limestone trees of central and east Laos and parts of Vietnam, they have only been recently spotted in parts of North Cambodia. The Nam Theun Basin in Laos and the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Vietnam are major homes to this species. The mid and upper levels of the forest canopy are their preferred habitats in Vietnam.

These primates have a striking appearance owing to their gray and white fur. One of the most colorful species in the animal kingdom, the males and females are adorned with big bright eyes, white whiskers, blue eyelids, a chestnut collar, maroon lower legs, white or silvery fur on the upper arms, and the only difference between the two sexes is the white spot present on either side of the rump. They are specialized herbivores who fulfil their water requirement from their usual diet. In their groups, the females usually outnumber the males, but the males can definitely be seen exhibiting more dominant behavior. Red-shanked doucs are diurnal and communal animals who travel in groups and take shelter in large trees at night. This species communicates through touch, visual signals as well as vocalizations to establish a strong bond among the members of the group. Sadly, they are listed as a Critically Engendered species because of human activities like the destruction of habitat and hunting of this species for food and illegal trading.

For more relatable content, check out these Colobus monkey facts and bush baby facts for kids.

Red-Shanked Douc Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red-shanked douc?

The red-shanked douc or red-shanked douc langur is one of the three species of douc langurs currently existing on the planet. They belong to the family Cercopithecidae and genus Pygathrix.

What class of animal does a red-shanked douc belong to?

Red-shanked douc langurs belong to the class Mammalia of the animal kingdom like other monkey species such as the Titi monkey and the tamarin monkey.

How many red-shanked doucs are there in the world?

The species of red-shanked douc langurs is facing critical threats from widespread human activities of deforestation and hunting. The current global population of this Critically Endangered species is decreasing, with about 200 individuals inhabiting the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Vietnam, while a few individuals of this species have recently been sighted in northern Cambodia. Laos continues to host the highest population of these douc langurs.

Where does a red-shanked douc live?

The red-shanked douc range of habitat is restricted to Indo-China. It is primarily found in the forest areas of east-central Laos, living in the Nam Theun Basin and its surrounding areas as part of its geographic range. The species has also been spotted in northern Cambodia recently, while their Vietnam population has faced a constant decline over the years.

What is a red-shanked douc's habitat?

Douc langurs inhabit evergreen, semi-evergreen, and limestone forests. This Critically Endangered species is generally spotted in the middle and upper levels of the forest canopy.

How long does a red-shanked douc live?

The red-shanked douc life span is believed to be around 25 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The red-shanked douc langur lives for almost 25 years in forest habitats. While the females of the species attain sexual maturity somewhere around the age of four, the males attain their sexual maturity a year after the females. The females breed about every two years and give birth to a single offspring after a gestation period that lasts about 120 days. The babies are born around the beginning of the fruiting season, and the young ones are covered in soft light fur and have a black stripe down their backs. By the time these young ones are 10 months old, they complete the metamorphosis process and resemble adults of this species in appearance.

What is their conservation status?

The red-shanked douc langur is listed as Critically Endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List.

Red-Shanked Douc Fun Facts

What do red-shanked doucs look like?

The red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) is a long and slender animal and is often referred to as the 'costumed ape'. Their tails are almost as long or sometimes even longer than their bodies. They can be distinguished from the black-shanked douc langur and the gray-shanked douc langur by the color of their shanks. These colorful primates have orangish faces and ears, with pale blue eyelids and tiny nostrils. The fur is gray with black speckles and it covers their back, arms, and crown of their head. The chestnut collar separates the white neck from the black band across its shoulders. A black band stretches across their foreheads and long white whiskers origin from their chin area. Red-shanked doucs have dark almond-shaped eyes. The lower legs are covered in maroon fur while bright white fur extends from the monkey's forearms. The large protruding stomach area is covered in silver shimmery fur and there is a triangle made of white fur at the base of the animal's tail. Males have a white spot on both sides of the rump, which females lack.

The red-shanked douc is one of the most vibrant animals in terms of their appearance.

How big is a red-shanked douc?

Red-shanked douc langurs range between 21.6-23.6 in (55-60 cm) in length. They are approximately two times smaller than Mandrill monkeys, which range between 30-37 in (75-95 cm) in length.

How fast can a red-shanked douc move?

Red-shanked doucs jump from branch to branch using their long arms to hold onto branches and push off with their legs. They swing from branch to branch and land on their feet. They move pretty fast between branches.

How much does a red-shanked douc weigh?

The red-shanked douc langur ranges between 18-28 lb (8.2-12.6 kg) in weight. Their weight range is higher than Vervet monkeys.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female red-shanked doucs do not have distinct names.

What would you call a baby red-shanked douc?

Baby red-shanked doucs are generally referred to as infants.

What do they eat?

Red-shanked doucs are folivorous animals and specialize in eating plan leaves. They love to feed on young and tender leaves of evergreen and semi-evergreen plants. The red-shanked douc diet also consists of shoots, buds, unripened fruits, seeds, and flowers.

Are they dangerous?

Red-shanked doucs are gregarious animals and have not been known to cause any significant threats to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The global population of the red-shanked is listed as Critically Endangered, and several attempts are being made to conserve their population in their natural habitat. They are quite friendly and can make good pets, provided they are well taken care of. However, they should be allowed to live freely in the wild.

Did you know...

Considered to be messy eaters, these animals often drop their food on the forest floor. However, they are very communal and can often be spotted sharing their food with other primates of the group.

The red-shanked douc langur has a multi-chambered stomach and breaks down its food with bacteria through a process called fermentation.

These animals move about in small to medium-sized groups. Although large groups of males and females can be spotted, smaller groups of about 15 members are more common.

Why is the red-shanked douc endangered?

The red-shanked douc langur is facing a serious threat from widespread destruction caused by humans. Human activities like deforestation, along with habitat loss and hunting, have led to a huge decline in their global population. The species has faced almost an 80% decline in their overall population in the last three generations.

How many red-shanked douc langurs are left in the world?

The red-shanked douc distribution in their natural habitat has reduced widely owing to large-scale habitat destruction. In the current times, only 200 doucs are left in Vietnam, and a few monkeys are spotted in northern Cambodia. Laos still hosts the largest number of this species, but according to studies and surveys, even that number is estimated to decline over the coming years.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these baboon facts and Talapoin monkey facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring on one of our free printable red shanked douc coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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