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Pygathrix nigripes | Black-shanked Douc | Chà vá chân đen


Good spot:  Ta Kou Nature Reserve, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam

© Hoang Minh Duc



Taxonomy & Occurrence

Pygathrix nigripes is a monotypic species (no subspecies). It has a restricted range in northeastern Cambodia and southern Vietnam.


IUCN Conservation Status



Black-shanked Douc is unique among the doucs (Pygathrix) in having a blue face.

Seeing this Species


Black- and Grey-shanked Doucs are difficult to distinguish in the field. A distinguishing factor is the color of the face. Adult Black-shanked Douc has a dark blue face with cream eye rings while adult Grey-shanked Douc has a bright orange face. But infants and juveniles of Grey-shanked Douc also has dark bluish-grey face. Uh oh.


Ta Kou Nature Reserve, Bình Thuận Province, Việt Nam

The nature reserve is easy to get to from Ho Chi Minh City [HCMC]. Morning buses run frequently from HCMC to Ta Kou. Phuong Trang bus takes you through the Saigon-Mui Ne route, and you should alight at Phan Thiet before it reaches Mui Ne beach. The journey costs $7 and takes only about 3 hours. From Phan Thiet, there is a local bus that brings you to the nature reserve. A cable car at the reserve entrance will bring you to the mountains through some of the most beautiful secondary forest. Most of the nature reserve consists of low, rolling hills at elevations from 50m to 100m. The most significant features of Ta Kou are the Ta Kou Mountain at elevation of 694m and a giant, majestic Reclining Buddha.


I was there in July 2012, and recommend at least a two-day stay in order to see the Black-shanked Douc. I also saw a Pygmy Loris right outside the accommodation in the nature reserve! I returned in April 2014, and saw the doucs around the Reclining Buddha.


Probability of Success: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◇


Overlapping species: Pygmy Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Stump-tailed Macaque, Annamese Silvered Langur


Other Sites:

Cat Tien National Park, Đồng Nai Province, Việt Nam

Please see the page on Southern Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon for more information on getting to Cat Tien.


Overlapping species: Pygmy Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Annamese Silvered LangurSouthern Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon


Jungle Beach Resort, Khánh Hòa Province, Việt Nam

The monkeys were very easily seen right around the Jungle Beach Resort, and its Canadian owner, Sylvio, enjoys sharing sightings on them. I visited this spot in March 2014. Unfortunately, due to road construction over the last few years, Sylvio warned that the Black-Shanked Douc is no longer easily seen. I did a 2-hour hike up the mountains to where the locals reported seeing the monkeys, but they fled before I caught a good sighting. The next day, a staff of Jungle Beach and I went on motorbike to look for them, and found them about 10-minute away, on one of the mountain ridges!


The area around Jungle Beach is still a pretty good spot to see the Black-Shanked Douc, but you may have to spend more than just one day. Well, why not, Jungle Beach is also a great place to clock some beach time.  


Overlapping species: More research is needed in this area


Local contacts: Ms. Minh Nguyen (




© Adam Hermans

Reclining Buddha at Ta Kou

© Adam Hermans

Family group at Ta Kou Nature Reserve

© Hoang Minh Duc

Page Last Updated: 11 February 2019



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