In news: For the first time since it became law in 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will have non-human beneficiaries — the rare golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) in a reserve forest in western Assam’s Bongaigaon district.

More about the news: 

  • The district authorities launched a ₹27.24-lakh project under the MGNREGA to plant guava, mango, blackberry and other fruit trees to ensure that the resident golden langurs of the 17 Kakoijana Reserve Forest do not have to risk their lives to find food.
  • Distribution: The geographic range of golden langurs is limited to Assam, India and neighbouring Bhutan where they live year-round. 
  • Conservation Status: In 2003, they were considered endangered by the IUCN Red List, and listed as Appendix I on the CITES website. 
  • Chakrashila sanctuary:Chakrashila has about 600 golden langurs whose population is scattered across western Assam and the foothills of Bhutan.