Critically endangered Raffles' banded langur found as roadkill in Upper Thomson Road

One monkey had managed to cross the road before the second one was run over.
One monkey had managed to cross the road before the second one was run over.PHOTO: ZEN MA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A critically endangered Raffles' banded langur was spotted as roadkill in Upper Thomson Road on Friday morning (Aug 27).

Primatologist Andie Ang, chair of the Raffles' banded langur working group, said that with the death of the animal, there are only 68 such monkeys left in Singapore.

Facebook user Zen Ma said in a post on the Nature Society (Singapore) group page that one monkey had managed to cross the road before the second one was run over.

Dr Ang said the two monkeys, which were likely mother and son, were trying to get from Thomson Nature Park to the military forest across the road.

Mr Ma stopped his car and moved the animal's body to the roadside to avoid it being run over by other vehicles, he said in his post.

He also contacted the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).

Photos in his post showed the monkey on the road with bloodstains around it.

Dr Ang, a Mandai Nature research scientist, said her team had been following and documenting the monkey since he was born in June 2018.

She was at the animal's post-mortem at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. She identified the monkey as a three-year-old male juvenile named Ultraboy. He weighed 3.5kg.

The monkey's face had been badly injured and it was difficult to identify his facial features. He was identified based on other factors, including group demographics - langurs have family units and do not mix around with others outside their unit - as well as geographic location and sex.

The Raffles' banded langur is rare in Singapore, and should not be confused with its more common cousin - the cheeky, brown-furred long-tailed macaque.

The Raffles' banded langur can be found only in Singapore and southern Peninsular Malaysia and nowhere else in the world.


A file photo of a Raffles' banded langur, which is rare in Singapore. PHOTO: ANDIE ANG

In 2017, a Raffles' banded langur was found dead on the Bukit Timah Expressway, just south of the flyover.

Another roadkill incident had happened in 2011, in Upper Thomson Road as well.

"This incident highlights the need for ecological connectivity," Dr Ang said.

"I'm hoping this incident could push for more mitigation measures for roads that are flanked by forests," she added, while noting that the authorities have been working on such issues.

One possibility is to restore some canopy connectivity through trees that have "good branches", she said, adding that rain trees there currently have brittle branches.

Wildlife bridges could also be considered, though they will have to be maintained well so that they do not collapse and fall on people or roads below, she added.