Abstract # 82:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 09:40 AM-09:50 AM: Session 7 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Symposium


M. D. Gumert1, J. C. Sha2, B. P. Lee3 and S. Chan3
1Nanyang Technological University, Division of Psychology, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore, 2Consevation and Research Department, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, 3Central Nature Reserves, Conservation Division, National Parks Board, Singapore

Over the last century, Singapore has suffered large-scale land conversion from natural to predominantly urban landscape. Consequently, Singapore’s wildlife now lives in an urban ecology, which has largely impacted their demography and behavior. Reports of human-macaque conflict have been increasing in the last decade, and public complaints and management efforts have increased. Singapore’s macaque population was assessed in 2007 and approximately 1,450 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) remain. The majority of that population lives in both the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves, which are a system of reservoirs, forest reserves, parks, and recreation clubs located in the center of Singapore. This region is entirely surrounded by urban landscape with little or no buffer between human (Homo sapien) settlement and the forest edge. Consequently, at least 70% of Singapore’s macaques show some degree of habituation to living in close proximity with humans, and at least 50% receive some level of provisioning from human sources. Human-macaque interactions also regularly occur, such as taking food, affiliation, or aggression, and the large majority [67%] is due to people carrying food or to human provocation [25%]. Currently, we are mapping the population and interface patterns at Bukit Timah, and investigating how the level of interface alters their behavior and ecology. Human-macaque overlap seems primarily driven by habitat conversion and is later reinforced by human behavior that encourages macaque habituation.