Interviews with local people and a survey were carried out in 23 counties of south-west Guangxi Province from April 2002 to June 2003 to evaluate the conservation status of François' langur Trachypithecus francoisi and assess the extent and nature of threats to the species' survival. François' langurs were found in only 10 counties compared with their presence in 23 counties before 1990. The total population size is estimated to be 307 individuals in 14 isolated populations. This represents a 90% decrease in population size since the early 1980s and an 85% decrease since the mid 1990s. The primary threat to the langur is hunting, mainly for traditional medicine. Our results suggest that conservation efforts for the species have been ineffectual during the last decade and, even within reserves, few direct management measures seem to have been taken to protect and conserve the langurs. Without the instigation of such measures it seems likely that François' langur will disappear both inside and outside reserves. To ensure the long-term survival of Francois' langur in Guangxi Province increased investment and improved management, planning, and training of reserve managers and staff is required, with a particular focus on the key remaining reserves and sites for the langur. Some of this work is now underway.
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