Abstract # 40:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 5 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


E. P. Riley1 and R. Babo2
1San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology, San Diego, CA 92182-6040, USA, 2Hasanuddin University, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Three decades of field research characterize the seven macaque species endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Field research began in earnest in the 1980s, with two teams dominating the scene: 1. a Japanese-Indonesian team responsible for some of the first in-depth observations on wild populations, and 2. a joint Indonesian-American team (“Sulawesi Primate Project”) that led island-wide surveys of population size, density, and distribution. Two species (M. nigra and M. maura) were noted as conservation concerns due to their restricted ranges and close proximity to human populations. In the 1990s, multiple research teams contributed to a highly productive decade of research on social organization (Japanese team), taxonomy and hybridization (Sulawesi Primate Project), behavioral ecology (Wildlife Conservation Society Tangkoko team), and conservation (Sulawesi Primate Project). A trend in the current decade is the explicit linking of fundamental research problems (e.g., reproductive biology, taxonomy, behavioral ecology) with the applied concern of conservation. For example, basic ecological research has been transformed into explorations of the conservation implications of the ecological interconnections between humans and macaques (e.g., human predation, bidirectional disease transmission, and overlapping resource use). This trend is largely due to the now threatened status of all of the species, and specifically, the recent change in status of M. nigra from “Endangered” to “Critically Endangered” [IUCN, 2008]. Given recent reports that 80% of Sulawesi’s forests have been altered and/or destroyed, future field research will likely include continued attention to conservation-relevant topics such as ecological flexibility, population genetics, and the human-macaque interface.