Abstract # 88:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 11:10 AM-11:20 AM: Session 7 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Oral Presentation


C. H. Southwick and M. F. Siddiqi
, Boulder, CO 80303, USA

In ecological terms, population patterns of rhesus macaques [Macaca mulatta in India provide a model similar to those of many human populations. The main characteristics of both rhesus and human populations [Homo sapiens in India are: (1) rapid growth in numbers, (2) high birth rates, (3) great adaptability and survivability, (4) commensalism and urbaniz- tion. In addition, rhesus populations are strongly influenced by human cultural and economic behavior. In a 50-year study of rhesus populations in Aligarh district, an urban and agricultural area in the Gangetic Basin 130 km. southeast of New Delhi, the population passed through four stages of change: in the 1960's a period of decline due to excessive trapping for export; in the 1970's, a phase of stabilization and the beginning of growth as export demand demand for biomedical research, pharmaceutical testing, and vaccine production declined; in the 1980's, a period of rapid growth; and in the 1990's and 21st century, continued growth with greater volatility. Over these 50 years, rhesus populations have changed from a threatened status of declining populations to become an overabundant public health and agricultural pest. In many parts of India rhesus are now an expensive and unsol- ved management problem. In terms of wildlife conservation, rhesus present a bad public relations image for the valid needs of urgent primate conservation.The majority of 15 or 16 primate species in India are in a threatened or endangered state.