Abstract # 235:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:40 AM-10:50 AM: Session 7 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Symposium

The Indo-US Primate Project: Research and Conservation in India from Modest Origins to International Prominence

S. K. Sahoo and A. Kumari
Conservation Himalayas, # 977/2, Sector 41-A, , Chandigarh (UT) 160 036, India

The Indo-US Primate Project (IUSPP), a collaborative programme between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and J.N.V. University, Jodhpur (India) and the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India, was established in 1994 with Prof. S.M. Mohnot as Project Director and Prof. C.H. Southwick (CHS) as Project Advisor. The pivotal role played by CHS throughout this programme was remarkable, and made the project a success. In 8 years, the IUSPP had trained over two dozen field biologists and 13 Ph.D’s in primatology. On the completion of IUSPP in 2001, the IUSPP was converted into the Primate Research Centre (PRC) with headquarter at Jodhpur and field stations at Guwahati, Mysore, Shimla, Aligarh, Jaipur, Kumbhalgarh and Jodhpur so as to cover the entire country. Much of the IUSPP’s focus has been on the rare and endangered species of primates, but also addressed the problem of overabundant pest species. The IUSPP’s work in northwestern India on rhesus crop depredation revealed alarming rate of crop damage by rhesus in Sirmour district (30.9%) followed by 25% in Bilaspur, 15.3% in Solan and 14.9% in Shimla all in Himachal Pradesh. This initial work of IUSPP on the rhesus overabundant problem showed future direction to address the man-monkey conflict (MMC) with focus on scientific mapping of the MMC areas, management of pest species, MMC mitigation, community capacity building and primate conservation education.