Abstract # 3217 Event # 15:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: Session 4 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


RHESUS (MACACA MULATTA) POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS OF UTTARAKHAND AND HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA

S. Kumar Sahoo and A. Kumari
Conservation Himalayas, 977/2, Sector 41-A, Chandigarh 160 036, USA
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The rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) population has been a serious cause of crop depredation across its free-ranging habitats in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Uttarakhand states. We conducted a rhesus population survey in foothill villages and highway roadsides in Uttarakhand and HP with an objective to find out the number of crop raiding and highway roadside groups, average group size and infant-adult female ratio in areas of HP’s rhesus sterilization program and also in areas without any rhesus sterilization program in Uttarakhand. For the location reference of the rhesus groups, we recorded GPS data of each location where we observed the groups. We counted a total 44 crop raiding rhesus groups in Uttarakhand (Dehradun=6, Haridwar=15, Pauri=7 and Nainital=16) and 41 in HP foothills (Shimla=17 and Solan=24). The average group size was relatively smaller for the highway roadside rhesus groups in Uttarakhand (average group size =16) and HP (average group size=11) than the average group size for the crop raiding groups in both the Uttarakhand (average group size=23) and HP (average group size=21) region. The infant-adult female ratio in areas of HP’s rhesus sterilization program was 78 infants for a total of 102 females (76.5%) distributed in five different groups in Shimla city subjected for monkey sterilization in the year 2010. The infant-adult female ratio in roadside rhesus groups in Uttarakhand was 58 infants for 79 females (73.4%) indicating a failure in HP’s monkey sterilization program.