Despite the golden langur's (Trachypithecus geei) endangered and totally protected status, local awareness and attitude toward this species is poorly understood. We investigated local awareness and attitude in Bhutan by interviewing 1,143 households in the districts of Dagana, Sarpang, Trongsa, Tsirang, and Zhemgang, and analyzing data through a conditional inference tree analysis. Most respondents were not aware of the golden langur's nationally protected (53%; n = 604) and globally endangered status (64%; n = 730), but their location of residence (inside/outside a protected area; p < .001) and education level (p < .001) significantly influenced awareness. The majority of respondents (87%; n = 999) liked the golden langur but the attitude was significantly influenced primarily by whether or not they experienced crop damage by golden langurs (p < .001), and subsequently by location of residence (p < .001), local belief (p < .01), gender (p < .05), and personal encounter with a golden langur (p < .001). Socioeconomic variables like age, education level, and annual income did not influence attitude. We recommend environmental education and awareness campaigns outside protected areas, and intensifying existing programs inside protected areas to forge harmonious human-golden langur coexistence.
Keywords: Bhutan; attitude; golden langur; human-primate coexistence; primate conservation.
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