Herbert Covert
Professor, Department Chair



My research focuses on the ecology and conservation of endangered colobine monkeys of Vietnam. Since 2004 I have been involved in the Khau Ca Forest Tonkin snub-nosed monkey conservation project in Ha Giang Province. Survey, census and behavioral data reveal that the population at Khau Ca is presently stable and increasing in size. Initial ecological data including information on feeding, habitat preference, social organization, and ranging behavior have been collected and are being used to help plan a forest expansion and rehabilitation program. These activities have provided the impetus for the Vietnam government to support the establishment of a species/habitat conservation area at Khau Ca in 2009. Since 2008 I have been working with colleagues from the Southern Institute of Ecology (SIE) of Ho Chi Minh City on a range of projects related to primate conservation.  At Ta Kou Nature Reserve in Binh Thuan Province we have worked on the ecology of sympatric populations of Annamese silvered langurs and black-shanked doucs to better understand relationships between morphology, behavior, adaptation, and evolution. SIE and I are also partnering on a project focusing on conservation and ecology of Germain’s in the Kien Luong Karst area of Kien Giang Province.  We have also provided training for protected area staff on gibbon conservation.  During the past four years I have worked with Vietnamese scientists, government officials, protected area staff, international NGOs, and other stakeholders to establish a national level conservation action plan for primates.


Selected Publications 

  • Covert, H.H., Le Khac Quyet, and Wright, B.W. 2008 On the brink of extinction: conservation and ecology of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus).  J.G. Fleagle and C.C. Gilbert, eds. Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins. Springer Science and BusinessMedia: New York, pp.409-27.
  • Wright, B.W., Ulibarri, L., O’Brien, J.A., Sadler, B., Prodhan, R., Covert, H.H., and Nadler, T. 2008 It’s tough out there: variation in the toughness of ingested leaves and feeding behavior among four Colobinae in Vietnam. Int. J. Primatolog. Published online: 20 September 2008.
  • Wright, K.W., Stevens, N.J., Covert, H.H., and Nadler, T. 2008 Comparisons of suspensory behaviors among Pygathrix cinereaP. nemaeus, and Nomascus leucogenys in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. Int. J. Primatol. Published online: 26 November 2008.
  • Stevens, N.J., Wright, K.A., Covert, H.H., and Nadler, T.  2008 Tail postures of four quadrupedal leaf monkeys (Pygathrix nemaeusP. cinereaTrachypithecus delacouri and T. hatinhensis) at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.  Vietnam Journal of Primatology 2:13-24.
  • Le Khac Quyet, Nguyen Anh Duc, Vu Anh Tai, Wright, B.W. and Covert, H.H. 2007 The diet of Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus avunculus) in Ha Giang Province,Vietnam. Vietnamese Journal of Primatology 1:75-84.
  • Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Nguyen Quoc Khang, Le Khac Quyet, Covert, H.H., and Wright, B.W. 2007 Preliminary nutrient analysis of selected plants in the diet of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) in Khau Ca area, Ha Giang province, Vietnam. Journal of Science (Vietnam National University, Hanoi) 23(1S): 187-191.
  • Workman, C.C. and Covert, H.H. 2005  Learning the Ropes: the ontogeny of locomotion in red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus), Delacour's (Trachypithecus delacouri), and Hatinh langurs (Trachypithecus hatinhensis) I. Positional Behavior.  Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 128:371-380.
  • Covert, H.H., Workman, C.C., and Byron, C. 2004 The EPRC as an important research center: ontogeny of locomotor differences among Vietnamese colobines. In T. Nadler, U. Streicher, and Ha Thang Long (eds.) Conservation of Primates in Vietnam.  Frankfurt Zoological Society and Haki Publishing:  Ha Noi,  pp.121-129.
  • Byron, C. and Covert, H.H. 2004 Unexpected Locomotor Behavior: brachiation by an Old World Monkey from Vietnam. Journal of Zoology, London 263:101-106.
  • Covert, H.H. 2003 Does Overlap Among the Adaptive Radiations of Omomyoids, Adapoids, and Early Anthropoids Cloud our Understanding of Anthropoid Origins?  In C. Ross and R.F. Kay (eds) Anthropoid Origins. Kluwer Academic Press, NY, pp. 129-145.