, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Population studies of Malaysian primates

  • Charles H. Southwick
  • Francis C. CadiganJr.


Systematic field studies on the abundance of primates were made in five different types of forest in West Malaysia in 1970. Primate groups of 7 species were seen on 97 occasions during 527 hours of field observations. Secondary forests had the greatest primate density of any of the natural forest habitats surveyed. Estimated primate group densities varied from less than 4 groups per square mile to 40, with an average of 7.2 groups per square mile. The most abundant species was the banded leaf monkey (Presbytis melalophus) with 2.95 groups per square mile, followed by the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) with 1.54 groups. Primary forests had a lower density which varied from less than 2 groups per square mile to 15, and averaged 5.9.P. melalophus was again the most abundant species with an average of 2.22 groups per square mile, followed by gibbons (Hylobates lar) and siamangs (H. syndactylus) each with 1.11.M. fascicularis averaged only 0.37 groups per square mile in primary forests. Primates were unexpectedly rare in mangrove forests and rubber plantations. Twenty-four primate groups were found in urban forests and parks. Twenty of these groups wereM. fascicularis, 3 were silver leaf monkeys (P. cristatus) and 1 was the dusky leaf monkey (P. obscurus). In urban areas,M. fascicularis groups varied from 7 to 44 individuals per group, with an average of 24. A great need exists for increased scientific and conservation attention for the primate populations of Malaysia.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anonymous, 1970.Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur. Federal Industrial Development Authority.Google Scholar
  2. Bertrand, M., 1969.The Behavioral Repertoire of the Stumptail Macaque. Bibliotheca Primatologica, No. 11, S. Karger, Basel & New York, 274 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Bernstein, I. S., 1966. Naturally occurring primate hybrid.Science 154: 1559–1560.Google Scholar
  4. ——, 1967a. A field study of the pigtail monkey.Primates 8: 217–228.Google Scholar
  5. ——, 1967b. Intertaxa interactions in a Malayan primate community.Folia primat. 7: 198–207.Google Scholar
  6. ——, 1968a. The lutong of Kuala Selangor.Behaviour 32: 1–16.Google Scholar
  7. ——, 1968b. Social status of two hybrids in a wild troop ofMacaca irus.Folia primat. 8: 121–131.Google Scholar
  8. Chiang, M., 1967. Reproductive behavior in long-tailed macaques in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. M. Sc. Thesis. Univ. of Singapore.Google Scholar
  9. Chivers, D., in press. The Malayan Siamang.Malayan Nature Journal. Google Scholar
  10. Ellefson, J. O., 1967. A natural history of gibbons in the Malay Peninsula. Ph. D. Dissertation. Univ. of California, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  11. Eyles, D. E., 1963. The species of Simian Malaria: taxonomy, morphology, life cycle, and distribution of the monkey species.J. Parasit. 49: 866–887.Google Scholar
  12. Furuya, Y., 1961. The social life of silvered leaf monkeys.Primates 3: 41–60.Google Scholar
  13. ——, 1962. On the ecological survey of wild crab-eating monkeys in Malaya.Primates 3: 75–76.Google Scholar
  14. Harrison, J. L., 1962. The apes and monkeys of Malaya.Malayan Museum Pamphlets, No. 9 (2nd Edition), 21 pp.Google Scholar
  15. ——, 1966.An Introduction to Mammals of Singapore and Malaya Tien Wah Press, Singapore, 340 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Laing, A. B. G., J. F. B. Edeson, &R. H. Wharton, 1960. Studies on filariasis in Malaya: The vertebrate hosts ofBrugia malayi andB. pahangi.Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 54: 92–99.Google Scholar
  17. Lim, Boo Liat, 1969. Distribution of the primates of West Malaysia.Proc. 2nd Int. Congr. Primat., Atlanta, Georgia, Vol. 2, S. Karger, Basel & New York, pp. 121–130.Google Scholar
  18. McClure, H. E., 1964. Some observation of primates in Climax Diptocarp Forest near Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.Primates 5(4-4): 39–58.Google Scholar
  19. Medway, L. 1969.The Wild Mammals of Malaya. Oxford University Press, London, 127 pp.Google Scholar
  20. --, in press. The monkeys of Sundaland. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Symposium, No. 43Google Scholar
  21. Napier, J. &P. H. Napier, 1967.A Handbook of Living Primates. Academic Press, New York & London, 456 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Sanderson, I., 1957.The Monkey Kingdom. Doubleday and Company, Inc., New York, 200 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Shirek-Ellefson, J., 1967. Visual communicattion inMacaca irus. Ph. D. Thesis. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 161 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Southwick, C. H. &M. R. Siddiqi, 1968. Population trends of rhesus monkeys in villages and towns of northern India, 1959–1965.J. Anim. Ecol. 37: 199–204.Google Scholar
  25. Southwick, C. H., M. R. Siddiqi, &M. F. Siddiqi, 1970. Primate populations and biomedical research.Science 170: 1051–1054.Google Scholar
  26. Stevens, W. E., 1968.The Conservation of Wildlife in West Malaysia. Federal Game Dept. Seremban, Malaysia, 123 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles H. Southwick
    • 1
  • Francis C. CadiganJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Research and TrainingUSA
  2. 2.U.S.A. Medical Research UnitUSA

Personalised recommendations