Abstract # 167:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


PRELIMINARY POPULATION SURVEY OF THE RHESUS MACAQUES IN BARMI BAZAAR, BANGLADESH: SURVEY APPROACHES FOR STUDYING URBAN PRIMATES

R. C. Kyes1,2, M. M. Feeroz3, M. A. Aziz3, M. R. Alam3, F. Akhtar3, S. Ahmed3, M. I. Nahid3, B. H. Badal3, G. Engel2 and L. Jones-Engel2
1Dept. of Psychology & Center for Global Field Study, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, 2Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, 3Dept. of Zoology & Wildlife Rescue Centre, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh
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Estimating population parameters of primates living in urban settings presents challenges not typically encountered in traditional surveys conducted under natural conditions. Conventional distance sampling methods may need to be adapted to more accurately access urban primate populations. A preliminary survey of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in Barmi Bazaar and Pathantek Village, Bangladesh was conducted as part of a larger study addressing human-primate pathogen transmission. Seven observers participated in the five-day survey during October 2009. Pathantek and its local market, Barmi Bazaar, cover an area of about 20 ha of dense urbanization. This setting presented considerable challenge for traditional distance sampling: the monkeys spent the majority of time on rooftops, thus hindering observation from ground level, group cohesion was diffuse, and group ranging patterns overlapped extensively throughout the day. Two methodological approaches were used to estimate number of groups and population size. The team divided into four observation units and conducted simultaneous observation in designated quadrants in the survey area. Sampling methods included: core-area provisioning and fixed-point sampling from elevated observation posts. Survey results indicated at least four groups with an average group size of 26 animals [range: 19-31]. Estimated population density was 550 animals/km2. Estimated population size was 110 animals. Further work is needed to adapt methods and techniques for surveying primates in urban settings. Supported in part by NIH-NIAID R01AI078229 (LJ-E) and NIH RR-00166.