Action for Primates
As human beings expand into and destroy natural habitat, there is a concomitant increase in interactions with non-human primates. Historically, this has been defined as 'conflicts', a pejorative term that is based on an anthropocentric view of the issue. It is important to understand, however, that activities by non-human primates considered undesirable by people are not the result of purposeful behaviour against people. The non-human primates are only trying to survive in an increasingly diminishing and hostile environment due to human activity. They are not 'crop raiding' nor are they 'competing'; rather, they are being forced to overcome their innate fear of people in order to survive by foraging on whatever is available. Our language, therefore, should not only be free of negativity and be sensitive to the plight of the non-human primates, it should also imbue a sense of hope and optimism for resolution that emphasises the interests of all concerned.
In an effort to resolve the problems created by themselves, people will often use methods that are inhumane and ineffective. Large numbers of non-human primates may simply be rounded up and killed. Others may be captured alive and used for research and breeding or for the 'pet' and food trade. Although this may provide a short-term reduction in animal numbers, it is cruel and fails to address the issue over a longer period of time (Siong 2016). The large scale trapping and exportation of monkeys for the food and research industries is also inhumane. Moreover, this has been shown to be largely ineffectual in reducing damage to human property and crops or in reducing the number of individuals long-term. For example, despite the trapping and export for research of 10,000 vervet monkeys over a 14 year period in Barbados, this did not have the desired effect of reducing crop foraging, as the population of monkeys remained stable due to the species' high breeding rate (Boulton et al 1996; Horrocks & Baulu 1988).
Complicating this issue is the mistaken belief that free-living (wild) non-human primates are a threat to human health due to transmission of diseases. There is also considerable misinformation about what diseases monkeys carry in general and which might be transmissible to human beings, although there is also a significant risk of disease transmission from people to non-human primates in captivity. There is very little likelihood that free-living non-human primates could transmit any disease to human beings (Sharma 2011), unless they are brought into close contact with people such as being trapped for the research or 'pet' trade or to be killed as food.
The issue needs to be approached from at least two perspectives. One is changing public behaviour and perception, the other is implementing practical methods that are effective.
Preventive measures: It is essential that people involved with management methods understand that adverse interactions between wild animals such as monkeys and people are usually due to inappropriate behaviour on the part of human beings, not the other animals. Wild animals are typically fearful of human beings. If, however, people feed or in any way tolerate or encourage the presence of the animals, the animals become less fearful. Feeding can also make the monkeys reliant on a human food source (anthropogenic), causing them to spend less time foraging for natural sources of food (Sha & Hanya 2013) and can artificially increase 'carrying capacity', causing an increase in reproduction beyond what natural habitat would dictate. It is critical, therefore, that people be taught not to encourage the animals in any way. This includes not only not feeding the animals or having easily-available food sources, but also not making attempts at being 'friendly' with the monkeys.
Educating residents to make changes to their lifestyle will be necessary. Monkey-proofing their trash receptacles (Peralta 2016) and deterring entry into their homes through the use of suitable window screening are essential. Food or garbage must not be allowed to accumulate anywhere the monkeys can have access to it (Anon 2014). People must be discouraged from feeding wildlife. For example, in Hong Kong (Anon 2019) and Singapore (Tan 2020), fines are imposed against those people who continue to feed wild monkeys.
A systematic method of scaring away the animals with things like unnatural sounds or the sounds of their predators should be instituted and used consistently every time there is an intrusion. For example, in some communities, specific people are assigned the duty of chasing away monkeys from residential or other areas (Anon 2008; van Doorn & O'Riain 2020). The same principle can be used for deterring crop foraging (Hill & Wallace 2012; Kaplan et al 2011; Wallace & Hill 2016). In some cases, dogs have been used successfully to guard fields of crops or deter monkeys from entering areas of human habitation (Anon 2010, 2020). Solar powered electric fencing can be economical and effective in reducing access to crops (Bisht 2015). Another strategy involves the use of laser pointers (Anon 2017) or taste aversion (Pebsworth & Radhakrishna 2020).
Sterilisation: Sterilisation is an effective long-term solution that ensures there will be fewer and fewer monkeys over time (Thakur & Sharma 2017). It is increasingly being used by authorities who recognise its importance to humanely and effectively provide long-term resolution (Anon 2011, 2012, 2016; Bunluesilp 2009; Giraud et al 2021; isantraveller 2016; Nelson 2013; Reddy & Chander 2016; Saeki 2011; Vishnoi 2013). It should be understood, however, that sterilisation will take time to reduce the number of monkeys in order to result in reduced interactions. Because of this, people would still have to do what they could to discourage monkeys. Importantly, sterilisation should only be used for finite situations, not as strategy for overall management.
As for the method of sterilisation, because the monkeys are completely free-living, the most effective method would be to remove the ovaries (ovariectomy) of females, tie off their Fallopian tubes (tubal ligation) or remove part of the Fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) (Deleuze et al 2021; Yu et al 2015). Once done, these methods would ensure that the female would not be able to reproduce. Although easier to do, sterilising the males will be less effective than doing the females, whether surgically or with vaccine, as it will only take one fertile male to impregnate perhaps several dozen females.
Another way to sterilise females (and males) is the use of chemical or similar sterilants. One is GonaCon™, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone immunocontraceptive vaccine developed by USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services (USDA 2017). It has been shown to be effective in a variety of species. There is some evidence that it may be effective in non-human primates(Dascanio et al 2014). It has to be injected into the individual, so trapping is still necessary.
Another is Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG). This contraceptive was developed for human males, but is being advocated for use in non-human primates(Adak 2019). It appears to provide lifelong sterilisation.
As with any sterilisation procedure, a method of permanently marking the animal who has been done has to be instituted in order to prevent duplicative efforts. Also, if a vaccine is used, a means of identifying the animals based on when they were done has to be developed in order to know not only that an individual has been done, but also when it is time to re-vaccinate.
Coexistence: In addition to the above, careful consideration of all the issues may lead to discoveries that allow for reasonable coexistence (Dittus et al 2019). For example, in Indonesia, it was found that monkeys and human beings depended on the same native tree and that cultivation of this tree might not only help the ecosystem, it might result in a reduction in crop foraging(Riley & Fuentes 2011). In South Africa, crop-foraging baboons could be deterred by planting crops specifically for them some distance from the farm (Kaplan et al 2011).
Trapping and relocation: This may not be ideal or effective in all situations (Thakur & Sharma 2017). Success with this approach depends on having suitable habitat located a sufficient distance away to deter the monkeys from simply returning to the original site. There is no distance that has been shown to ensure their not returning, but perhaps a location at least several kilometres away might be helpful. The area to which the monkeys are to be re-homed would not only have to be suitable for them in terms of food and shelter, it would also have to be free of other similar monkeys, or else they or the other monkeys will simply be chased away. Such a translocation of monkeys took place in India in 1997, when 600 rhesus macaques were successfully moved to different sites following an increase in monkey-human interactions that were deemed unfavourable (Imam et al 2002).
Although there is no easy solution to the problem, a continued commitment by the relevant authorities will be essential in developing a plan that works, is humane and is sustainable. A multi-prong approach is likely to yield the best results.
An increasing number of studies have found that the implementation of feeding sites for wildlife-related tourism can affect animal health, behaviour and reproduction. Feeding sites can favour high densities, home range overlap, greater sedentary behaviour and increased interspecific contacts, all of which might promote parasite transmission. In the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), human interventions via provisioning monkeys at specific feeding sites have led to the sub-structuring of a group into genetically differentiated sub-groups. The fed subgroup is located near human hamlets and interacts with domesticated animals. … These elements suggest that feeding sites might indirectly play a role on parasite transmission in the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey.
Periods of development and economic boom have meant that the baboons' natural habitat has often been invaded. This continuous sabotage over the course of many years excessive logging, destruction of forests, and the killing of natural predators such as tigers, hyenas, wolves, and lynxes led to the rise of the "monkey phenomenon" in different regions of the Kingdom. They began to flee from the natural areas in which they lived to agricultural areas, attacking the livelihood of farmers.
[Ahmed Al-Bouq, supervisor of the national launch program and the research and breeding centers of the National Center for Wildlife, stated that] …killing the animals was not a viable solution, stressing the important issue of maintaining ecological balance.
Increasing urbanisation is encroaching into natural habitats and sometimes forcing wildlife into urban centres. Whether or not wildlife can thrive in an urban environment is dependent on many factors, one of which is how the species is perceived by local people. This study focuses on the city of Pilar in south-west Paraguay, which is home to a population of urban-dwelling black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Using semi-structured interviews...we found that the majority of interviewees had positive attitudes towards the monkeys, believing that they brought benefits to the city and that they should be protected from potential risks in the urban environment.
When these animals are fed by humans, they often develop a dependency on humans as a source of food and become territorial over the area where feeding occurs. This dependency can lead to increased aggression, which may result in injuries and spread of disease to humans.
With the deployment of the dogs, the number of wild monkeys spotted in residential areas has sharply dropped, according to the city. Dogs of any breed can be placed in a five-month training session after a trainer deems them capable. They must learn not to injure people, chase only monkeys and return to their owners when called.
Landscape level analysis showed that crop feeding intensity was not related to total area under cultivation. Instead, macaque crop feeding intensity was positively correlated to the arrangement of deciduous forest patches beside cultivated area patches. Our findings call for careful appraisal of landscape management practices as a potential mitigation strategy for primate crop-depredation in such human-modified landscapes.
Wildlife tourism could be a conservation tool; however, it may disrupt the natural behaviors of wild animals. ... Our results showed that continued provisioning of the monkeys with human foods is detrimental to their natural behavior of the monkeys and could have negative long-term effects on the conservation efforts for the species.
Our findings suggest that among wildlife in anthropogenically-impacted environments, the structure of their aggregations around anthropogenic factors makes them more vulnerable to zooanthroponotic outbreaks than their social structure.
Male macaques were more likely to co-interact with humans than females. Neither macaques' grooming relationships nor their dominance ranks predicted their tendencies to co-interact with humans.
Our findings suggest that, in challenging anthropogenic environments, less (compared to more) time-consuming forms of affiliation, and additionally greater social tolerance in less ecologically flexible species with a shorter history of exposure to humans, may be key to animals' joint propensities to take risks to gain access to resources. For males, greater exploratory tendencies and less energetically demanding long-term life-history strategies (compared to females), may also influence such joint risk-taking. From conservation and public health perspectives, wildlife connectedness within such co-interaction networks may inform interventions to mitigate zoonosis, and move human-wildlife interactions from conflict towards co-existence.
…across all species, males and spatially peripheral individuals interacted with humans the most, and that high-ranking individuals initiated more interactions with humans than low-rankers. Among bonnet macaques, but not rhesus or long-tailed macaques, individuals who were more well-connected in their grooming network interacted more frequently with humans than less well-connected individuals. From an evolutionary perspective, our results suggest that individuals incurring lower costs related to their life-history (males) and resource-access (high rank; strong social connections within a socially tolerant macaque species), but also higher costs on account of compromising the advantages of being in the core of their group (spatial periphery), are the most likely to take risks by interacting with humans in anthropogenic environments.
Increased edge density around households, collection of small trees for construction, and foraging and hunting for food in forested habitat significantly increase the likelihood of human-NHP contact.
Wild meat is a primary source of protein for many rural populations and its illegal harvest can threaten worldwide wildlife conservation efforts. Near tropical forests, wild meat can be an alternative to domestic meat consumption for different reasons (economy, access, culture, etc.). We aimed to understand drivers of illegal activities affecting wildlife in a hotspot of biodiversity (Sebitoli, Kibale National Park, Uganda) hosting threatened species (including chimpanzees) and bordered by agricultural landscapes with high human densities. Illegal activities were mapped, and individual interviews were conducted. We highlighted that being a young man coming from districts contiguous to Kibale National Park particularly raises the odds of consuming wild meat. This study might help to identify and recommend sustainable social and environmental alternatives to manage biodiversity.
This study is the first to characterize the faecal microbiota of the species and investigate the impact on it of tourist food provisioning by comparing two groups of Barbary macaques: a tourist-provisioned group and a wild-feeding group. ... The tourism activity was associated with a significant alteration of this profile, probably due to tourist provisioning issues. Increasing risks of obesity and illness call for special management measures to reduce the provisioning rate in tourist areas.
Here we show that a female chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) that commonly ranges within urban space in the City of Cape Town, South Africa, stops using urban space after giving birth...we suggest this change occurs because of the specific and greater risks the baboons experience within the urban space compared to natural space, and because leaving the troop (to enter urban space) may increase infanticide risk.
This highlights that extrapolating population trends to large areas based on censuses at single locations should be done with extreme caution, as forests change over time and space, and primates adapt to these changes in several ways.
In this study, among the Neotropical monkeys tested, three (4.4%), one captive and two free-living, were found to be naturally infected by P. vivax.
There are at least 5 sites in China where snub-nosed monkey tourism programs either exist or are likely to be launched in the near future. They have the capacity to be a major tourist attraction, which could draw a large number of visitors from all over the world. Every snub-nosed monkey tourist area would like to market itself as "eco-tourism" or "sustainable tourism." A group of golden snub-nosed monkeys at Dalongtan, Shennongjia National Park have been visited by tourists since 2007 (Xiang et al. 2011). These habituated monkeys are frequently visited by dozens to hundreds of tourists. We hypothesize that these monkeys are physiologically stressed from tourism, and we test this by examining potential correlations between urinary cortisol concentration (CC) and the intensity of tourism activity.
Our results confirmed the prediction that tourism could lead to elevation of cortisol secretion in habituated golden snub-nosed monkeys. Contrary to our expectation, urinary CC was not associated with the number of tourists. Urinary CC of the monkeys increased as exposure time to tourists increased (Figure 1A). With decreasing tourist distance, there was a significant increase in the measured urinary CC (Figure 1B). … Tourist visiting time and distance to the golden snub-nosed monkeys need to be limited to minimize the potentially detrimental effects of tourism. This calls for exercising caution when nonhuman primate tourism projects are undertaken at other sites.
As animals increasingly occupy habitats in proximity to humans, with home ranges a mosaic of natural and anthropogenic landscapes, it becomes imperative from a conservation perspective to understand the impacts of human activities on wildlife. … Such proximity, however, is often accompanied by direct conflict between humans and wildlife, leading to higher stress levels, injuries, mortality and behavioural changes, with detrimental effects on long-term health and fitness. … Taken together, the results of this study highlight the risks associated with ranging in anthropogenic environments and point to the need for a multifaceted approach to studying the negative impacts of human activities on animals so as to better inform conservation practices.
Agricultural expansion threatens primate habitats and populations (e.g., disease transmission, agrochemical exposure), but it also increases crop feeding opportunities. ... The chimpanzees opportunistically consume maize...Despite the availability of nutritious domestic resources, chimpanzees still exploit wild fruits and do not limit their movements.
...tourism may escalate rather than mitigate communitywildlife conflict. Provisioning food is a common way to attract wild animals to visit and stay in human activity areas. In the case of macaque tourism, anthropogenic food provision caused rapid population increase and more intra-group aggressive behaviors. More touristmacaque interactions resulted in macaques becoming habituated to human's presence. These ecological impacts on macaques led more invasion to the surrounding community and intensified residentmacaque conflict. Meanwhile, low community participation in tourism generated few benefits for residents and did not help alter residents' hostile attitudes towards the macaques. ... We suggest that wildlife tourism should minimize humanwildlife intimate interactions and food provision.
This study highlights the risks of roads for monkeys, and that collision rates vary with species, age class, and, in some species, sex and that rainfall is one factor that affects these rates.
Canopy bridges mitigate some monkey-vehicle collision hotspots.
This study provides evidence that even a single motor boat moving slowly, with humans behaving calmly, may negatively affect primate behavior and induce stressan impact that is likely to be larger with tourist boats.
Worldwide, primates, and humans increasingly share habitats and often enter in conflict when primates thrive in human-dominated environments, calling for special management measures. Reproductive control is increasingly used to manage population growth but very few monitoring data are available. … In the context of a contraception program in wild female long-tailed macaques in Ubud, Bali, conducted over four successive campaigns between 2017 and 2019, including 140 females (i.e., 41.9% of the reproductive females of the population in 2019), modifications of an endoscopic tubectomy procedure, a permanent sterilization method, clinical evaluation of this method, and the post-operative monitoring results of the neutered females after release are described. … Moreover, no new pregnancies in sterilized females were recorded during the 3-year observation period. The survival rate of the treated females 6 months after sterilization was high (96.3%) with no major post-operative complications clinically recorded. Among females that were pregnant during surgery, 81.1% were confirmed to experience term delivery. This study demonstrates the safety and efficiency of endoscopic tubectomy, even for pregnant females, as a mean of wild macaques' population control.
With the uncontrolled expansion of anthropogenic modifications of the environment, wildlife species are forced to interact with humans, often leading to conflict situations that have detrimental effects for both wildlife and humans. … Access to human-origin food, either cooked or packaged, acquired directly from homes or garbage pits, in the human-dominated habitat appeared to significantly reduce active foraging and searching for food…
...Nine individuals belonging to two social groups living in areas that were going to be destroyed were released into La Flor de Catemaco between 2002 and 2004. ... The growth and persistence of the groups at the site, as well as similarity in demographic and life-history parameters between this and unmanaged populations, suggest that mantled howler monkeys living at La Flor de Catemaco represent a stable population and thus that this was a successful translocation.
Except at temple and protected sites, all monkeys were considered as household or agricultural pests wherever they shared space with humans. This included the widely distributed toque macaque (Macaca sinica), the grey langur Semnopithecus priam thersites) of the Dry Zone, and the purple-faced langur (S. vetulus) of the southwestern and central rain forests where human densities and habitat fragmentation were greatest. People sharing space with monkeys resorted to various non-lethal methods to chase monkeys away from their properties and most preferred to have monkeys removed to protected areas; such translocations have been politically popular, though contrary to ecological principles. The main cause of HMC near primate habitats has been environmental conversion to agriculture, whereas in many towns the refuse generated in the wake of widespread growing tourism lured omnivorous macaques towards human habitation and stimulated macaque population growth. ...a major threat to primate conservation has been habitat loss and the killing of monkeys... Sharing space with monkeys rests on public tolerance, understanding, and empathy with monkeys. Religious concepts venerating monkeys provide fertile ground for this. ...protected nature reserves for all wildlife are more secure for primate survival than ethnoprimatology by itself would be.
In the wild sample, we included both monkeys habituated to human presence and unhabituated individuals filmed using motion-triggered cameras. Results revealed clear differences in number of approaches to novel stimuli among captive, wild-habituated and wild-unhabituated monkeys. ...we propose "the habituation hypothesis" as an explanation of why well-habituated and captive monkeys both approached and explored novelty more than unhabituated individuals. We conclude that varying levels of human and/or human artefact habituation, rather than the risks present in natural environments, better explain variation in curiosity in our sample of vervet monkeys.
Forest loss due to anthropogenic activities is one of the main causes of plant and animal species decline. ... On Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, anthropogenic activities, such as agriculture, are decreasing the remaining natural habitats available for several endemic and endangered species.
The outcomes of human-wildlife interactions depend largely on how animals are perceived by humans. ... Citizens identified >40 locations and identified several risks to the monkeys, including electrocution, road accidents, and dog attacks. Most people (58%) mentioned that howler monkeys were food-provisioned; tourism was the most-commonly identified benefit of the urban monkeys to the community. ... In general, citizens' perceptions of urban howler monkeys in Palenque are currently positive. These results indicate that human-howler monkey coexistence in Palenque might be possible if context-specific policies concentrate on minimizing the risks to both primates and humans and involve multiple stakeholders in decision-making. Policy recommendations that arose from our case study include insulating electricity cables, increasing arboreal connectivity, and promoting peer-learned positive practices.
A three-year sterilization program using female endoscopic tubectomy was launched in 2017 to manage the macaque population growth and allowed the sterilization of 136 females in the population…
Contraception is increasingly used to control wild animal populations. However, as reproductive condition influences social interactions in primates, the absence of new offspring could influence the females' social integration. We studied two groups of wild macaques (Macaca fascicularis) including females recently sterilized in the Ubud Monkey Forest, Indonesia. … These results confirm the influence of nursing condition in female macaque social networks and did not show any negative short-term effects of sterilization on social integration.
We recommend that efforts to protect Buton macaques focus on education and the use of effective nonlethal mitigation techniques, such as electric fencing.
Primate species living in habitats with high human activity have the potential to employ unique strategies to utilize human food resources. This study describes the feeding ecology of provisioned free-ranging long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) inhabiting Alas Purwo National Park, East Java, Indonesia...The macaques consumed more human food...than natural food...Human food has several effects on the behavioral ecology of macaques, including reduced movement and increased social activity in response to the number of visitors, decreased consumption of natural food, frequent use of the ground and subcanopy strata, and decreased home range when the number of visitors increases. Thus, the relative importance of human food has substantially changed the essential behavioral ecology of provisioned macaque troops.
Here I briefly outline current debates about the use of terms such as humanwildlife conflict and crop raiding and why they are misleading, summarize current knowledge about primate crop foraging behavior, and highlight some key areas for future research to support humanprimate coexistence in an increasingly anthropogenic world.
Our results also indicate that macaques frequently visit human settlements for food and are found interacting with domestic animals. In conclusion, the high prevalence of zoonotic GI parasite infection in rhesus macaques found in our study may pose a significant public health risk to communities, particularly in rural areas of Bangladesh. Health promotion to at-risk communities focusing on limiting contact with rhesus macaques is necessary to mitigate potential zoonotic transmission.
A state of coexistence for example doesn't imply there is an absence of conflict or require an absence of negative interactions or impacts: it refers to how these are understood and managed. Indeed, a broad state of coexistence normally contains incidences of conflict within it, but these conflicts are managed well.
This study provides crucial information on an area likely to support primate species that we know very little about. Assigning protected connecting forest patches should be an urgent priority for the conservation of the primates in this region.
This study provides empirical evidence and concludes that yellow baboons do not directly depend on the highway for food, rather they use the TANZAM highway as normal part of their home range. However, its location near sleeping sites may have significant impact on baboons' activity budget. With these findings, we recommend strict implementation of rules against park littering and animal feeding in protected areas traversed by highways.
In Nepal, for example, the expansion of monocultures, increased forest fragmentation, the degradation of natural habitats, and changing agricultural practices have led to a significant increase in the frequency of human-macaque conflict. … As human-macaque conflict is one of the most critical challenges faced by wildlife managers in South Asia and Southeast Asia, studies of macaque crop raiding behavior provide an important starting point for developing effective strategies to manage human-macaque conflict while promoting both primate conservation and the economic well-being of the local community.
Crop type and distance from farm fields to the forest edge affected crop raiding. Planting buffer crops and collective monitoring are recommended to reduce crop loss. A program of natural forest restoration is needed in rural areas of Nepal.
In Nepal, forests have been destroyed, fragmented, and developed for human settlements, agricultural production, and urban centers for decades. As a result, human-wildlife conflict, in the form of crop-raiding, livestock predation, and injuries to humans and wildlife, is common throughout the country. ... We argue that prioritizing programs of forest restoration, strategic management plans designed to connect isolated forest fragments with high rhesus macaque population densities, creating government programs that compensate farmers for income lost due to crop-raiding, and educational outreach that informs local villagers of the importance of conservation and protecting biodiversity, offer the most effective solutions to reduce [human-rhesus macaque conflict] in Nepal.
The top 10 species of wildlife that are responsible for the most [human-wildlife conflict] incidents are elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, hippos, leopards, baboons, monkeys, snakes and crocodiles. Elephants are responsible for the highest incidents of crop destruction and have the highest number of reported threat incidents.
Cause for monkey menace in Bengaluru and other urban areas, as per SOP, is because of fast urbanisation and adequate availability of food in garbage, waste dumps, and feeding of monkeys by the public. While pointing out that provisioning at temples or tourist sites also increased cohabitation with human resulting in a conflict situation, SOP states that conflict in rural areas is mainly in the form of crop foraging.
Contact with human beings or habitat altered by them may lead to reverse zoonosis and compromise the health of non-human primates.
Laparoscopic salpingectomy in Papio hamadryas was feasible, with an acceptable surgical time, low invasiveness, and only minor technical perioperative complications.
Laparoscopic salpingectomy could be a viable and safe therapeutic option in nonhuman primate birth-control programs.
These results suggest that chimpanzees change their activity rhythm to access cultivated resources when human presence and surveillance is lower. This survey provides evidence of behavioral plasticity in chimpanzees in response to neighboring human farming activities, and emphasizes the urgent need to work with local communities to mitigate human-wildlife conflict related to crop-feeding.
Around the Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia, a large free-ranging population of long-tailed macaques spontaneously and routinely engage in token-mediated bartering interactions with humans. These interactions occur in two phases: after stealing inedible and more or less valuable objects from humans, the macaques appear to use them as tokens, by returning them to humans in exchange for food. Our field observational and experimental data showed (i) age differences in robbing/bartering success, indicative of experiential learning, and (ii) clear behavioural associations between value-based token possession and quantity or quality of food rewards rejected and accepted by subadult and adult monkeys, suggestive of robbing/bartering payoff maximization and economic decision-making.
This study provides the first indirect evidence that some Peninsula baboons with a history of raiding human food sources, may be at risk of developing insulin resistance in the wild, with long term implications for population health.
...changes in land use and deforestation that impact the habitat and intensifies interaction between the non-human primate and the human which facilitate spill-over of the pathogens.
As human modification of primate habitats expands, overlapping use of resources and conflict between people and primates are becoming more common, particularly at the forestfarm edge where primates feed on crops. Although there is anecdotal evidence that the white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus imitator) feeds on crops in Panama, to our knowledge farmers' perceptions of this behavior have not been systematically investigated. ... Camera trap data revealed the white-nosed coati to be the most frequent crop feeder; capuchins were identified only in two crop-feeding events. Farmers identified several techniques that they use to deter white-faced capuchins, most of which are currently nonlethal. Farmers expressed sympathy for the capuchins, noting the impact of deforestation on wild food abundance and recognizing that "capuchins need to eat too." These findings indicate that rural communities in Chiriquí province, Panama may be receptive to conservation messaging that emphasizes humancapuchin coexistence.
Anthropogenic influence is expanding, threatening primate taxa worldwide. With wildlife tourism a burgeoning industry, understanding humanprimate interactions is key in avoiding primate defaunation. We observed interactions between humans and a group of wild Panamanian white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus imitator) at Curú Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, in June and July, 2019, and compared our findings with findings for the same group in MayOctober of 2006 and 2007, when the group received more provisioning. … The reduction in moderate and intense behaviors between studies also suggests that reducing direct provisioning could reduce the frequency and intensity of humanprimate interactions in tourist sites.
In Hong Kong, the last indigenous human case of rabies was reported in 1981, and two imported cases were detected in 2001 and 2014. The last report of rabies in an animal (a dog) in Hong Kong dates back to 1987.
There are ~1,800 wild monkeys in Hong Kong, distributed in 30 social troops, mainly inhabiting Kam Shan, Lion Rock, and Shing Mun Country Parks (Figure 1). The majority of them are considered hybrids of Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) and Long-tailed Macaque (M. fascicularis) (5). Despite a ban on feeding wild animals in Hong Kong, the macaques are regularly fed by hikers and tourists and, therefore, come in close contact with humans and their pets, feral dogs, as well as other wild animals within their habitat. There have been reports of occasional aggressive encounters between the macaques and residents in Hong Kong (6). Although rabies has never been reported in Hong Kong macaques...The aggressive form of rabies is rarely seen in non-human primates, so it is difficult to differentiate the signs of disease from natural biting patterns in monkeys (12), possibly resulting in the underreporting of rabies in non-human primates (9, 13).
Baboons have been recorded to damage crops, scatter waste from trash bins, and damage homes. A number of methods have been tested over the past 20 years to solve these problems, but none proved successful over the long-term or involved considerable costs. ... This study examines the response of a troop of baboons to an experimental reduction of anthropogenic food sources in a peri-urban environment...They compensated for the lack of anthropogenic food by spending more time foraging on natural food and less time in urban areas. However, the troop still exploited waste-free areas during the experiment and even more when the conditions were normal again. Overall, these results show the ability of baboons to adapt to changes in anthropogenic food availability but also that they are highly dependent on this type of resource. Limiting its access is a mitigation strategy that humans must absolutely develop for reaching a high level of coexistence with baboons.
Primates exhibit behavioral flexibility in anthropogenic habitats in various ways, most commonly documented as dietary adjustments, i.e., incorporation of human foods including agricultural crops and provisioned items, and as differences in activity, ranging, grouping patterns, and social organization, associated with changing anthropogenic factors. … The contributions to this Special Issue include both empirical research and reviews that examine various aspects of the humanprimate interface. Collectively, they show that primate behavior in shared landscapes does not always conflict with human interests, and demonstrate the value of examining behavior from a costbenefit perspective without making prior assumptions concerning the nature of interactions.
Overall, we found that provisioning had negative effects on the ecology of T. cristatus in the BMKS [Bukit Melawati Kuala Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia]. Therefore, modifying management policies, such as banning feeding and implementing educational programs, may contribute to their proper conservation.
Tourists do not seem to perceive that they pose risks to the orangutans and therefore increased awareness, education and enforcement of rules by all stakeholders, tourism bodies and government officials need to be actioned in order to safeguard this important population, which is crucial to the future survival of the Sumatran orangutan.
Despite concern about environmental protection, travelers often underestimate the contribution they may have to disease transmission to other species, as well as the risk of becoming infected themselves. ... Results revealed that even though individuals with more positive environmental attitudes were more willing to take steps to mitigate tourism-related disease transmission, they were also more likely to report wanting to touch or feed a monkey/ape. ... The human desire for physical contact with other species may be partly the result of biophilia, emotionally arousing events (like contact with exotic species) that can lead to further disinhibition, and social media platforms that provide opportunities for exhibitionism. ... Individuals for whom physically interacting with monkeys/apes may be emotionally rewarding may not alter their behavior in response to cognitive means of persuasion; techniques aimed at appealing to emotions may be more effective.
Critical information on two novel zoonotic viruses is presented, unique Indian macaque Simian Foamy Virus (SFV) and H1N1 Influenza A viruses (IAV)-like virus infecting wild rhesus monkeys from the Rajasthan forests. Monkey bites are quite common in India.
The data presented here however indicate a reverse transmission of H1N1 IAV from humans to rhesus monkeys…
Reducing animal-human contact and affordable vaccination are two relevant anti-viral strategies to counteract the spread of infectious zoonotic pathogens.
Farmers and workshop participants judged the most effective way to mitigate crop-foraging to be through improvement of existing crop-guarding. Behavioural observations indicated increased vigilance behaviour and decreased social behaviour when in farmland. Monkeys (N = 9) that visited the experimental area avoided chilli-laced potatoes but continued to forage on nearby crops. In conclusion, our results indicate that crop-foraging can negatively impact farmers' livelihoods and attitudes and can increase vigilance behaviour of monkeys. Our multi-faceted approach enabled the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, highlighted the urgent need to improve existing management measures and explored alternatives to facilitate positive coexistence between monkeys and farmers.
We surveyed 794 people co-living with four different primate speciesrhesus macaque Macaca mulatta, bonnet macaque Macaca radiata, lion-tailed macaque Macaca silenus, and Hanuman langur Semnopithecus dussumieriin southern and western India to understand how people perceived the costs and benefits of coexistence. The results of our semi-structured interview study revealed that although tangible costs (i.e., financial losses from primate depredation) primarily drive people's stated tolerance for primate presence, intangible benefits from primates (i.e., their ecological, existence, sentience, and religious values) also critically affect attitudes towards coexistence. Amongst the four species, people associated rhesus macaques with the greatest costs and fewest benefits, lion-tailed macaques with the lowest costs, and bonnet macaques with the highest benefits. People preferred lion-tailed macaques and Hanuman langurs more than bonnet and rhesus macaques, and affection for a species shaped how people viewed costs accruing from the species. People's preferences for species were influenced by their existence, ecological, and sentience values more than their religious value. We suggest that intangible benefits influence people's fondness for a primate species and this, in turn, shapes how people perceive costs resulting from the species. Hence strengthening people's perceptions of the intangible benefits they receive from primate species will improve human tolerance for living near primates. We argue that there is a need to understand the context of humanprimate conflicts beyond the cost aspects and focus on the benefits to improve humanprimate coexistence.
Robbing and bartering is a habitual behavior among free-ranging long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at a single site in Bali, Indonesia. The behavior consists of three main elements: (1) a macaque takes an item from a human; (2) the macaque maintains possession of the item; then (3) the macaque releases or hands off the item after accepting a food offer from a human.
Humanmonkey conflict (HMC) is a developing issue in Sri Lanka, negatively impacting both nonhuman primate conservation and human welfare. ... Respondents' attitudes towards monkeys were dependent on gender, ethnic group, religion, state of education, and monthly household income. Those who had experienced many disturbances from monkeys held more negative attitudes towards monkeys than others. A nonlethal multidisciplinary approach is critical to reducing the increasing HMC in Polonnaruwa district. Similar approaches can be operated in other areas where humanwildlife conflict is causing strain on wildlife conservation and human welfare.
The macaques appear to be attracted to the road because it presents opportunities to obtain palatable and energy-dense foods. Our results indicate that moor macaques are able to flexibly adjust their ranging behavior in response to anthropogenic impacts. However, given the risks of being in proximity to roads and humans, management of this emerging human-macaque interface is needed.
Examining how different primate species cope with forest fragmentation is important for the development of effective conservation strategies. Fragmentation can lead to decreases in food availability and increase the frequency of humanprimate interactions. ... We found that chimpanzees were more likely to crop forage in larger maize fields and those closer to the forest. ... Our results suggest that crop foraging mitigation efforts, such as moving maize further from the forest, can be effective. However, to maintain efficacy, this movement of crops must follow shifts in habitat use. This research highlights the importance of developing flexible conservation strategies, particularly for landscapes that are undergoing extensive change.
Several species of Costa Rican wildlife are suffering terrible injuries along the power lines in rural areas of the country due to the increasing human development in rural areas, but this has also brought the problem of poorly designed electric infrastructure, where arboreal mammals find their normal tree routes cut down so that the only way for them to cross is on the power lines where they can get electrocuted.
We found that the macaques' consumption of natural resources and dietary diversity decreased, and they spent more time in human-modified habitats when provisioned food was available. We also found that particular behaviors of the provisioned macaques stimulated provisioning by humans. Our findings show that provisioning influences macaque feeding ecology and habitat use, and that the behavior of the macaques themselves drives people to provide them with food subsidies, illustrating a complex web of interactions between the sympatric species.
Provisioning of primates is a common behavior that humans engage in at these sites. … People were driven to feed macaques by the desire to observe them closely, concern over decreasing food resources for wildlife, and religious affinities.
In Japan, those who had interacted with macaques before were more likely to visit the park to observe macaques clearly and at close quarters. In contrast, respondents in Indonesia were more interested in the recreational opportunities offered by the nature reserve rather than in macaques. However, here too, people who had interacted with macaques earlier were more likely to visit incidental macaque tourist sites for the sole purpose of viewing or interacting with macaques. … Unlike the Japanese respondents, most of the Indonesian respondents engaged in feeding macaques. These findings suggest that management regimes as well as socio-demographic attributes may influence people's motivations to visit macaque tourism sites.
Participants noted that the disappearance of forestland appeared to increase the macaque dependence on backyard fruit trees. Where rivers and ponds were filled to support local construction, macaques were also observed as becoming more dependent upon human water sources. These changed may help expanding the macaques' foraging areas, and they appear to be invading new areas where people are not culturally habituated to living with them. In response, many residents reported reacting aggressively toward the macaques, which they believed led to more bites and scratches. … This study revealed that local environmental changes, deforestation, urban expansion, construction, and water bodies' disappearance are linked to increasing human-macaque interactions.
It just reduces the troop size for a little while.
The aim of the manual is to describe methods that farmers can try to reduce crop damage, not to describe methods to reduce monkey numbers.
The Green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus) was first introduced to Barbados in the early 1600's, and an Act for Destroying Wild Monkeys and Raccoons was passed for the first time in 1680 because of their crop raiding behaviour. The monkey population has risen and fallen several times since the bounty was introduced, but a recent increase in crop raiding activity has been creating significant challenges for the agricultural sector.
Simple solutions, such as not leaving out food at night, could help to protect non-human primates in Sub-Saharan Africa -- some of which are already struggling because of threats like climate change and habitat loss.
The people of a community in Thailand's Nakhon Sawan Province had various levels of contact with macaques, based on their occupations, perceptions, beliefs, religion, previous experiences, and local regulations.
Villagers believe that offering food to the macaques will bring them good fortune, luck, and good health.
The feeding and release of wildlife has been made illegal islandwide with sweeping changes to the Wild Animals And Birds Act passed in Parliament yesterday that confers greater protection on Singapore's native flora and fauna.
Based on key informant interviews, the threats to long-tailed macaque populations were attributed to mining activities, deforestation through illegal logging, and the prevalent wildlife hunting.
The vectors of monkey malarias are mostly found in forests and forest fringes, where they readily bite long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques (the natural reservoir hosts) and humans. How changing land-uses influence zoonotic malaria vectors is still poorly understood. Fragmentation of forests from logging, agriculture and other human activities is associated with increased zoonotic Plasmodium vector exposure. This is thought to occur through altered macaque and mosquito distributions and behaviours, and importantly, increased proximity of humans, macaques, and mosquito vectors. Underlying the increase in vector densities is the issue that the land-use change and human activities create more oviposition sites and, in correlation, increases availably of human blood hosts. ... More data are needed on vector diversity and bionomics in additional geographic areas to understand both the impacts on transmission of anthropogenic land-use change and how this significant disease in humans might be controlled.
Our results suggest that field rangers are a successful nonlethal method for reducing spatial overlap between baboons and urban areas but that intensive, unsystematic herding of the troop does have measurable impacts on behavior and should be prevented.
Being revered as deities in some religions of the world, non-human primates (NHPs) often share the same space as humans. Such coexistence and interactions with humans, especially around places of worship, have been known to cause significant changes to the behavior and diet of the NHPs in India. ... Religious beliefs could potentially influence perceptions, actions, and subsequent One Health outcomes resulting from humananimal interaction, which could impact human and animal welfare. Greater insight in this area could provide a better understanding of the complex relationships between humans and NHPs; that may play an important role in mitigating conflict as well as the spillover of zoonotic disease at the humanNHP interface.
Crop fields were avoided for most of the year, suggesting that fields are perceived as a high-risk habitat. When field visits did occur, this was generally when plant primary productivity was low, suggesting that crops were a "fallback food". All recorded field visits were at or before 15:00. Activity was significantly higher in crop fields than in the landscape in general, evidence that crop-foraging is an energetically costly strategy and that fields are perceived as a risky habitat. In contrast, activity was significantly lower within 100 m of the field edge than in the rest of the landscape, suggesting that baboons wait near the field edge to assess risks before crop-foraging. Together, this understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of crop-foraging can help to inform crop protection strategies and reduce conflict between humans and baboons in South Africa.
At the time, the baboons were recognised as a problem species, and initial management efforts involved the lethal removal of baboon troops. This resulted in a significant reduction in damage in the short term, over 6-8 months. However, over time, of around 18 months to two years, the damage recurred. In turn, a further action of lethal control of troops was needed and a perpetual cycle of damage occurring, baboon troops being removed, damage being reduced then increasing again, in such a manner that a long-term solution could not be identified.
We found that 16 of 21 (76%) primate species in China, for which data are available, have experienced a population decline over the past 35 years. Factors contributing most to primate population decline included human poverty and the conversion of natural habitat to cropland. In contrast, the five species of primates that were characterized by recent population increases were the subjects of substantial government research funding and their remaining distribution occurs principally in protected areas (PAs).