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Drastic population decline and conservation prospects of roadside dark-bellied bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata radiata) of southern India



Drastic population decline and conservation prospects of roadside dark-bellied bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata radiata) of southern India



Primates; Journal of Primatology 52(2): 149-154



We carried out a survey on roadside dark-bellied bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata radiata) on the highways around the south Indian city of Mysore. The present survey was the fourth since 1989 on the same populations. We divided the habitats into intensive cultivation (IC), wet cultivation (WC), and scrub forests (SC). The number of groups has significantly reduced from 54 to 31 and the number of animals has declined from 1,207 to 697 from 1989 to 2009. This decline has been recorded only in the IC and WC areas, whereas the population in SC with places of Hindu worship has remained stable. Due to the loss of roadside Ficus trees over the years, the habitat of the monkeys has almost disappeared. Since bonnet macaque is not primarily a forest-dwelling species, the seemingly widespread primate may soon become 'threatened' if the non-forest populations continue to decline. Scrub forests in small hillocks housing Hindu temples remain the only prospective places for conservation of bonnet macaques.

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Accession: 052715570

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PMID: 21327700

DOI: 10.1007/s10329-011-0234-x


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