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A successful mass translocation of commensal rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta in Vrindaban, India

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2002

H.S.A. Yahya
Affiliation:
Department of Wildlife Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002, India. E-mail: cwo@vsnl.com
Iqbal Malik
Affiliation:
Vatavaran, 540, Asiad Village, New Delhi– 110049, India
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Abstract

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Rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta and people have coexisted for many years in Vrindaban in Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh, India. The monkeys are highly valued both by locals and pilgrims to the area, in part because of their quasi sacred status, but during the last two decades the increasing human and monkey populations of the township have led to severe human-monkey conflict and a decrease in people's respect for the monkeys. To ease this situation one of the world's largest ever translocations of monkeys was undertaken. In 1995, 30 groups of rhesus monkeys, comprising an estimated 1,338 individuals, were recorded in Vrindaban. Of these, 12 groups, a total of 600 individuals, were translocated in January 1997 to eight sites in seminatural forested areas within the same District. A post-translocation study indicated that the translocated monkeys were settled and appeared to be exhibiting normal behaviour. This study indicates that translocation of commensal monkeys to forested areas can be a successful technique for their rehabilitation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2002 Flora & Fauna International