Abstract # 99:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: (National Ballroom Salon B) Oral Presentation


S. S. Kaburu, B. Beisner, P. R. Marty, K. Balasubramaniam, E. Bliss-Moreau, E. R. Atwill and B. McCowan
Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
     There is increasing evidence that the growing expansion of human settlements has a profound impact on animals. Here we explore whether the frequency of human-monkey interactions affects grooming behavior in three groups of rhesus macaques in Shimla (India): Two which live nearby Hanuman temple and experience high levels of human-monkey interactions, while one group inhabits a Mall area and engages in low levels of interactions with people. We predict that grooming interactions among temple monkeys should be shorter and characterized by higher frequency of vigilance than grooming interactions among Mall monkeys. Our GLMM analyses conducted on 2948 bouts from 88 individuals showed that Mall monkeys engage in significantly longer grooming bouts than temple monkeys (t =2.17, p = 0.030), while among only temple monkeys grooming interactions were significantly longer in locations away from the temple than in the temple area, where most of the human-monkey interactions occur (t = 2.37, p = 0.018). Furthermore, we found that temple monkeys displayed higher rates of vigilance during grooming when they were at the temple than in non-temple areas (t = 6.177, p < 0.001) and compared to grooming interactions among Mall monkeys (t = -3.21, p = 0.001). Since grooming has important social and hygienic functions, our work highlights the possibility that the negative influence of human presence on grooming can have important implications for monkey health.