Watching primates closely for their sky-larking and romps is one thing and understanding their role in the wild is another.
Two students from Mangaluru, Dhyan C K and Sathwik P S, found the grey langur a fascinating subject, and have made a documentary on the species adapting to an urban habitat.
Despite urbanisation, the langurs continue to live in their traditional habitats in Karambaru Valley and Kenjar, near Mangaluru. The documentary, ‘Urban Langur,’ focuses on the urban lifestyle of the black-footed grey langur living in the forest patches of Kenjar.
Sathwik says, “We documented them for two months. There were about 30 to 40 in the area. Our aim was to create awareness about this endemic species of langurs. The film also throws light on the risks faced by them.”
The friends were out in the forest filming birds, “but we found these medium-sized primates in small groups of eight to 10 led by their own Alpha male”.
“Since the Kenjaru first area is large, each group lives apart and doesn't confront others. Though we did not record any behavioural changes in the group, we did find that they have adapted to semi-conducive habitats,” Dhyan says.
They found no accounts of human-langur confrontations either. The 12-minute long documentary is also the first-of-its-kind, with the langurs being seen as an urban wildlife variety.
Sathwik says, “As we all know, the Western Ghats is a biodiversity hotspot and treasure house of many endemic plants and animals. These forest flora and fauna extends to the forest patches near the urban settlements. Even though a lot of work is being done in documenting the flora and fauna of the forest region, very little documentation work is done about the animals living in and around the urban areas.”