Reference : Eco-behavioural profile of a long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) population in ...
Dissertations and theses : Master of advanced studies dissertation
Life sciences : Zoology
Eco-behavioural profile of a long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) population in a human-managed area of Bangkok (Thailand)
Brotcorne, Fany mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Biologie du comportement - Ethologie et psychologie animale >]
Université de Liège, ​Liège, ​​Belgique
DEA en Biologie des Organismes et Ecologie
Huynen, Marie-Claude mailto
Savini, Tommaso
Vercauteren, Régine
Ylieff, Marc
[en] The present study investigated several aspects of the behavioural ecology of a small long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) population living in close association with humans in Bangkok (Thailand). The aim of this study was first to establish the eco-behavioural profile of this population and then to document the impacts of the human factor (human presence and food provisioning) on this profile. We have collected, during four months, data on habitat, demography, activity budget, aggressive behaviours and diet.

The studied population exploited a small home range of 18 hectares in an urban habitat poor in spatial and dietary resources. The rare patches of altered mangrove forest present in the home range constituted essential resources zones widely exploited by macaques. The sizes of two groups constituting the population were relatively large and the sex ratios strongly skewed towards females. A high index of reproduction indicated a good capacity of reproduction within the population. The activity budget was characteristic of provisioned primate groups with a high proportion of time spent inactive; few time devoted to feeding activities and foraging, and a lot of time involved in social activities. On the other hand, proportion of agonistic behaviours was rather low. Contrary to our predictions, the intensity of aggressive interactions was influenced neither by food provisioning, nor by human presence which, on the other hand, increased slightly the frequency of these interactions. Lastly, the diet of this population was constituted to a large extent by human provisioned food which differed from wild food, found in mangrove forest, in abundance and high energy values.

From these preliminary results, we could assess the impact of human factor as important. All studied aspects of behaviour and ecology of this population were consistent with other provisioned primate groups and differed from wild groups; except results on aggressive behaviours which required consequently a thorough research on social structure of the study groups.

These results have allowed us to identify various potential threats for the long term survival of this population. The probability of continuous destruction of mangrove forest and the consecutive risk of isolation of the population probably represent the main threats. Risks for health of these macaques, due to ecological and dietary conditions, also require considerations in terms of management. We propose as management recommendations, first to preserve the rest of mangrove forest present in the home range and ideally to initiate the reforestation of these zones and second, to control the quantity and the type of food provisioned daily to macaques.

Thereby, this study supports the idea that the conservation and the management of urban monkey populations facing conflict with human s, such as this studied in the present research, is important, notably to decrease the future risk of extinction.
Primatology Research Group (ULg)

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