Three youths have been on a unique bicycle trip for about a week, travelling some 1,000 kilometres and stopping at places along the way and talking to people – to save the critically endangered species Phayre's leaf monkeys. They call their campaign "Riding for Conservation."
The Phayre's leaf monkey, locally known as Chashmapora Banor, is a globally endangered and critically endangered species in Bangladesh.
Sajeeb Biswas of Jagannath University, Shushil Malakar of Dhaka University, and Niloy Chandra Mandal of Jashore Science and Technology University started their journey on 22 May from the
Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on Dhanmondi Road 32 in Dhaka.
They are now in the Lawachhara National Park in Moulvibazar – one of the main habitats of the Phayre's leaf monkeys – and are scheduled to leave for Dhaka on 30 May after campaigning in the area.
These monkeys are also found in some forests in Chattogram.
Team leader Sajeeb Biswas, a member of a research team on Phayre's leaf monkeys, said they have talked to people they met on their way and told them why it was urgent to preserve the species and how they can help to do that.
People showed interest and gave their word to come forward to save this endangered species, he said.
Tanveer Ahmed, researcher at the Nature Conservation Management, hailed the initiative and said there are only 400 Phayre's leaf monkeys in six forests of Sylhet, according to a study conducted in February 2019.
Their population has declined 50% worldwide in the past three years; in Bangladesh the figure is 80%.
Meanwhile, a Bengal slow loris was rescued in Sunamganj with the help of the Forest Department and voluntary organisation named Stand for Our Endangered Wildlife (SEW) after covering a distance of about 300km.
Babul Miah in Laurgarh village of Badarghat union in Tahirpur upazila, kept the monkey restrained at his home until help arrived.