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Pygathrix nemaeus | Red-shanked Douc | Chà vá chân đỏ


Good spot:  Sơn Trà Nature Reserve, Đà Nẵng Province, Việt Nam

Enjoying hot pot after successfully finding doucs!

© Adam Hermans




Pygathrix nemaeus is a monotypic species (no subspecies).



East-central Lao PDR, northern and central Vietnam, and northern Cambodia


IUCN Conservation Status



Widely regarded as the most colorful primate, sporting at least seven colors (not just the red shanks).

Striking red-colored shanks

© Adam Hermans

Seeing this Species


The Red-shanked Douc may be one of the most beautiful primates in the world. They can be shy and quick but if you are lucky you can catch them feeding. If you have a view, enjoy it from a distance before getting too close.


Sơn Trà Nature Reserve, Đà Nẵng Province, Việt Nam

Sơn Trà is a peninsula jutting out from Đà Nẵng city, the third largest city in Vietnam. At the far trip, about 10km from the city center, is a nature reserve with a couple trails. The whole peninsula provides perhaps the best place in the world to see Red-shanks (I've tried a few other places with no success). But much of the peninsula is a military base, so be careful. 


A good way to explore is via motorbike. These are quick and easy to rent in Đà Nẵng city. You can moto out to the Southern edge of the peninsula and find a relatively cheap bungalow on the beach, then spend the days driving the roads on the peninsula, looking for doucs. More expensive hotels are popping up further out on the peninsula as well. The trails in the reserve are good but you're just as likely, if not more so, to see the doucs from the road. Look both above and below the road, high in the trees. 


The population in Sơn Trà Nature Reserve may represent at least 60% of all Red-shanked Doucs in Vietnam [1].


Halfway between Sơn Trà and Đà Nẵng city, on the road running along the beach, is a long, long line of seafood stalls. Many of these stalls feature hot pots. It is delicious. The peninsula also boasts the spectacular Linh Ung pagoda and Bai But buddha.


Probability of Success: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◇ ◇


Overlapping species: Pygmy Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Rhesus Macaque


Other sites:


Quang Binh Nature Reserve


Overlapping species: 


Local contacts: GreenViet

View of Danang City from Son Tra

© Adam Hermans

A couple doucs at Son Tra Nature Reserve

© Adam Hermans


[1] Lippold L.K. & Vu Ngoc Thanh 2008. The time is now: survival of the douc langurs of Son Tra, Vietnam. Primate Conservation 23: 75-79.



Page Last Updated: 12 April 2020


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