The Tufted gray langur is an Old World monkey, one of the species of langurs. There are two subspecies of Tufted gray langurs. One of which occurs in India, and another one in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lankan subspecies, the dorsal area gray to brownish gray in color, getting darker with the age. Underparts are light grayish. They also have short whitish beard and sideburns. The hairs of the crown form a distinct pointed tuft or crest, that meets at a central point, hence the name of this species. Male Tufted gray langurs are larger than females.
Tufted gray langurs are found in southeast India and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, these primates are abundant in dry zone forests and also within human dwellings. Many troops are found at archeologically important areas, such as Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, and Sigiriya. The animal is also found in southward of the island, such as Hambantota, Yala National Park, and Tissamaharama.
Tufted gray langurs are generally shy animals. They are partially arboreal, semi-terrestrial and diurnal in habit. They often come to the ground when there is no danger. Tufted gray langurs live in troops that may include 20-50 individuals. Large troops are led by both large male-female combinations, whereas small troops are governed by an alpha male. Sub adult males and other males usually spend the time with searching for foods, rivals with neighboring alpha males, and protecting the troop. Females spend the time with feeding the young, grooming them, and playing. Tufted gray langurs communicate with the help of barks, grunts, whoops, whistles and howls. The cough like voice is used for giving tension, and whistling for the contact loss with the troop. The superior eyesight of these animals and ability to sit atop high trees allows them to spot predators easily. Researchers have noted that this species will often sit next to herds of the Spotted deer and notify them when a predator is approaching. Additionally, these langurs will often drop fruit from tall trees, which Spotted deer will then feed on. In return, the Spotted deer’s excellent sense of smell allows it to detect predators early on and warn the langur that something may be approaching.
Little is known about the mating system in Tufted gray langurs. Females give birth to a single infant or rarely twins. The gestation period lasts around 6 months. After birth, the infant is attached to the mother for 3 months with all the nourishment and other protection.
Tufted gray langurs are threatened by hunting and habitat destruction. Some people also fond of eating langur meat in some parts of Sri Lanka. Tufted gray langurs may also be captured for pets.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Tufted gray langur total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.
Due to their diet Tufted gray langurs act as important seed dispersers in the ecosystem they live.