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Trachypithecus poliocephalus | Cat Ba Langur | Voọc Cát Bà


Only spot: Cát Bà Island, Hải Phòng City, Việt Nam 

The 3-week old bright orange infant testing out its rocky environment!

Video by Andie Ang

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam




Taxonomy & Occurrence

Trachypithecus poliocephalus is a monotypic species (no subspecies). Currently, it is recognised as a distinct species from White-headed Langur [1]. The Cat Ba Langur is only found on Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay of Hai Phong City in Vietnam.


IUCN Conservation Status

Critically Endangered

The latest population estimate (as of June 2022; refer to Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project) of T. poliocephalus is 74-78 individuals, up from 64 individuals in August 2006 [2]. They are one of the top 25 most endangered primates in the world.


Seeing this Species


Cát Bà Island, Hải Phòng City, Việt Nam

Cat Ba Island (354 sq km) is located on the Lan Ha Bay, south of the more famous (hence more touristy) Ha Long Bay. Half of the island is protected as a national park. The best weather to see the langurs is probably from late September to early November. The Winters are much cooler (but still pleasant), rain is more of a risk in the Spring. In the Summer, tourist numbers reach their peak.


It takes about 5 hours to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi by public transport. At the Luong Yen Bus Station (Bến xe Lương Yên) in Hanoi, purchase the ticket to Cat Ba Island (240,000 dong, ~$12) from Hoang Long Bus Company. On the day of travel, a Hoang Long staff will shepherd passengers all the way to Cat Ba, that's because it takes 3 buses and a boat to get to Cat Ba! The first bus brings you to Hai Phong City, where you will alight and wait at their company office for maybe 5-10 minutes for their second bus which will bring you to the jetty. There, you will hop onto a boat which ferries you to Cat Ba Island. Another and final bus will then bring you to the center of Cat Ba town where you will find everything you need (hotels, restaurants, sightseeing tour companies etc.). More detailed directions can be found here.


Probability of success: Currently there is no organized trips opened to the public for seeing the critically endangered langurs. Find out more from the team at Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project.


Overlapping species: Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)


Local contactsCat Ba Langur Conservation Project



© Andie Ang

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

© Neahga Leonard

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam


[1] Mittermeier R.A., Rylands A.B. & Wilson D.E., 2013. Handbook of the Mammals of the World: Primates. Vol. 3. Lynx Edicons: Barcelona.

[2] Rawson B.M., Leonard N., Covert H. & Nadler T., 2020. Trachypithecus poliocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T39871A17959804.




Page Last Updated: 3 July 2022

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