Trachypithecus poliocephalus | Cat Ba Langur | Voọc Cát Bà


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



Taxonomy & Occurrence

Trachypithecus policocephalus is a monotypic species (no subspecies). Currently, it is recognized 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 (as T. p. poliocephalus)


The latest estimate (as of August 2006) on the total population of T. p. poliocephalus is 64 individuals [2], but it may actually be fewer than 60 [personal communication, Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project]. These animals are fragmented into seven isolated subpopulations; average group size is low, at 3.7 individuals, and there are 3-4 all-female groups, which are consequently non-reproductive [3].


They are one of the top 25 most endangered primates in the world.



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

Video by Andie Ang

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

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


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] Bleisch B., Le Xuan Canh, Covert B. & Long Y.C., 2008. Trachypithecus poliocephalus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 February 2014.

[3] Stenke R. & Chu Xuan Canh, 2004. The golden-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) on Cat Ba Island - status, threat factors and recovery options. In: Nadler T., Streicher U. & Ha Thang Long (eds.), Conservation of primates in Vietnam, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Hanoi, Vietnam.




Page Last Updated: 21 April 2017