Abstract # 219:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2005 10:00 AM-10:30 AM: Session 16 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation

Characteristics of the Assamese monkey (Macaca assamensis) of Nepal

M. Chalise
Natural History Society of Nepal, G.P.O. Box No. 8402, Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal
     The Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis) is one of the least common primate species in Nepal. It has received protected status by His Majesty's Government of Nepal and is identified as the only endangered primate species in Nepal. We have conducted periodic study of M. assamensis in the highland mountain ranges of Nepal since the late 1990s. During 1997, in the Makalu-Barun Conservation Area, a total of 135 Assamese monkeys were observed in 7 troops. The following year we identified a total of 72 individuals in 4 troops. Beginning in 2000, we extended our study to Langtang National Park and its buffer zone. This survey revealed 150 individuals in 7 troops. Two of the troops comprising 77 individuals were under intensive investigation. The Assamese monkeys of Nepal were designated a ‘Nepal Population’ by the South Asian Primate Conservation Assessment and Management Plan workshop in 2003 due to morphological variation. This population differs from Assamese monkeys previously described from South-East Asia with respect to morphological characteristics such as the head-body length and tail-length ratio, weight, and body fur and facial coloration. The Nepal population consists of overall darker fur color with fleshy pink face and the nasal area is darker than observed in other populations described in the literature. This project was supported in part by a Conservation Small Grant from the American Society of Primatologists.