Singapore – A dusky langur monkey, a species not native to Singapore, was spotted climbing a vehicle at Upper Peirce Reservoir.
On Tuesday (Mar 23), Facebook page ROADS.sg shared a photo by Koh Puay Heng, who spotted a dusky langur monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus) on the windshield of a vehicle parked at Upper Peirce Reservoir.
Dusky langurs, also known as dusky leaf monkeys, can easily be identified through the white rings around their eyes. The species is found primarily in Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. The attached photo clearly depicted the monkey’s white spectacles and light pink lips.
“This is a new monkey species in town, and scientists here are assessing how its presence could affect Singapore’s two other native monkey species,” noted ROADS.sg.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa, the “introduction of exotic species can have detrimental effects on local populations via factors such as resource competition and new threats from disease.”
The paper noted that Singapore has three native species of non-human primates, Sunda Slow (Loris Nycticebus coucang), Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and Raffles’ Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis).
A straitstimes.com report indicated the first sighting of the species in Singapore was in August 2019 in Woodlands. By December 2019, two of them had made their way to Thomson Nature Park, where they remained until January 2020.
The paper indicated that during one encounter on Jan 18, 2020, an adult male long-tailed macaque chased a group of dusky langurs from a feeding tree. The next day the same group of dusky langurs chased a group of 11 banded langurs from another feeding tree.
“The dusky langurs appeared to be healthy and wild, indicating that they may have swum across the Johor Strait or travelled on the Johor-Singapore Causeway from Malaysia,” noted the Singapore researchers.
Dr Ang, a Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) Conservation Fund research scientist, told straitstimes.com, “We need to monitor the interactions between the duskies and native primates, to assess if they may displace banded langurs and macaques from their feeding or sleeping sites such that their original home ranges may be altered.” /TISG
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