Population status of Macaca munzala in the Nymjangchu valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India: With special reference to human-macaque conflict
Bidyut Sarania, Ashalata Devi, Awadhesh Kumar
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) was discovered in 2004 in Tawang and West Kameng Districts of the Arunachal Pradesh, India. The present study was carried out to survey the population status of the species and the assessment of Human-macaque conflict in the Nymjangchu valley (Latitude 27°43′ and 27°31’N and Longitude 91°41′ and 91°39’E). Assessment of current population status and conflict measurement will provide present conservation scenario of the valley.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
The study was conducted during the month of May, 2013 to February, 2014. We have divided the study area(Nymjangchu valley) into two part Upper Nymjangchu valley and lower Nymjangchu valley. For the study of population status of the M. munzala, we conducted Modified lines transect(Burnham et al.,2003) and total count methods were used depending upon the habitat and the forest condition. Household questioner survey (n=200) was conducted in the villages to understand the human-macaque conflict in the valley.
Results: What are your most important results?
A total 24 troops of M. munzala were recorded which comprised of 619 individuals. The smallest troop consists of 16 individuals and the largest with 58 individuals having an average troop size of 25.75 individuals per troop. M. munzala were found to be frequent crop raider (39.5%, n=79) followed by wild pig (25%, n=50), Porcupine (19%, n=38) and Barking deer (16.5%, n=33).
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
Present study reveals very high population size of M. munzala in the study area. Household survey also signifies low hunting activity despite of intense crop raiding by M. Munzala and other wildlife. Although Monpa tribe does not hunt M. munzala,sometimes local people consumed dead individual of the species as bushmeat. livelihood of local people mainly depends on the agricultural activities, and need some urgent mitigation to control the crop raiding problem.