Let’s Bridge To Coexist

A comparison between a dusky langur in its natural habitat and one in an urban environment often referred to as a concrete forest.

In 2019, Langur Project Penang (LPP) made history by installing Malaysia’s first artificial canopy bridge in Penang. The project was a success, and it opened up a world of possibilities for the conservation of arboreal wildlife in Malaysia. With the first bridge in place, LPP set its sights on expanding the canopy bridge project in and around the UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve on Penang Island.

The new conservation project, named ‘Bridge To Coexist,’ is the brainchild of LPP. Its aim is to reduce roadkill incidents of arboreal wildlife in Penang by installing a new canopy bridge. The project will also work closely with the local community to develop a management plan and recommendations for humane and sustainable approaches to mitigate negative human-primate interactions in Penang.

We are excited about this new project and believe that it will make a significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife in the region. Our team understands that negative human-wildlife interaction (conflict) is a significant issue that requires urgent attention, and we hope that this project will be a step in the right direction toward a more sustainable future.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the sightings of dusky langurs in urban areas such as residential neighbourhoods and even city parks. These sightings have been attributed to several factors, including deforestation, habitat loss, and the encroachment of human settlements into natural areas.

Despite the challenges posed by urbanisation, dusky langurs have shown remarkable adaptability in their behaviour and lifestyle. They have been observed to forage for food in urban areas, often raiding fruit trees and vegetable gardens in residential neighbourhoods. They have also been known to seek shelter in abandoned buildings and other structures.

However, the presence of dusky langurs in urban areas has also created challenges for the local communities. Some residents view the primates as a nuisance, as they can cause damage to property and crops. Others are concerned about the potential for negative human-primate interactions (conflicts).

Dusky langurs are known for their adaptability and ability to forage for food in a variety of environments, including urban areas. These primates have been observed in urban neighbourhoods feeding on a range of planted food plants. Some of the common plants that they feed on include jambu, mango, rambutan, belimbing, figs, and more.

With the ‘Bridge To Coexist’ project, we aim to promote coexistence between humans and wildlife and create a more harmonious environment for all. The project is still in its early stages, but our team is working hard to ensure that it will be a success. We are excited to see the positive impact that this project will have on the local community and wildlife in Penang.

As a result, there has been a growing interest in developing humane and sustainable approaches to mitigate negative human-primate interactions in urban areas. This includes initiatives such as education and awareness campaigns, the development of wildlife-friendly buffer zones, and the installation of canopy bridges to reduce roadkill incidents.

The objectives of this community conservation project are:

  1. To study the behavioural ecology of dusky langurs in Penang in order to identify drivers for negative interactions with humans.
  2. To identify crucial areas where arboreal wildlife crosses roads and where negative human-primate (i.e., dusky langurs and long-tailed macaques) interactions occur in Penang.
  3. To establish one canopy bridge in Penang in the year 2023 and to assess the canopy bridge usage by wildlife as a measure of success by using camera traps.

LPP serves as an open community for anyone wishing to get closer to their roots (i.e. nature), and to cultivate compassion in a modern society where empathy is already on the decline. People lack an understanding of the negative consequences that our collective actions have on wild animals. Acknowledging this issue, LPP’s community creates an environment where people can share their love for nature with each other; when this love spreads, it will lead Malaysia to progress toward a great nation that knows better than to exploit its animals, especially wildlife. 

We’re looking for passionate people like you who would like to contribute their time, knowledge, and skills to our long-term conservation project in order to further foster coexistence between humans and primates in Penang.

The selected applicants will be mentored by LPP members in terms of fieldwork, outreach, and educational approach as part of this volunteer position.

This is a project funded by CIMB Islamic, with additional funding provided by the supporters and clients of Langur Project Penang Hub. 

The Habitat Foundation is this project’s Coordinator and Principal Partner.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@langurprojectpenang.com or assist@langurprojectpenang.com