, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 49–59 | Cite as

The effect of urban and rural habitats and resource type on activity budgets of commensal rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in Bangladesh

  • M. Firoj Jaman
  • Michael A. Huffman
Original Article


Macaques are characterized by their wide distribution and ability to adapt to a variety of habitats. Activity budgets are affected by habitat type, season, and food availability in relation to differing age–sex class and individual requirements. We conducted a comparative study on two commensal rhesus groups, one living in a rural village and the other in the center of urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. The study was conducted in three different seasons between 2007 and 2009 in order to evaluate how habitat type and season affects their behavioral activities. Differences in food type and its availability between these two habitats were mainly responsible for the variations in activity budgets between groups. Feeding time in the rural group was significantly longer than that in the urban group. In contrast, grooming and object manipulation/play were significantly greater in the urban than the rural group. Seasonal variations in all major behaviors were significantly affected by group, with more time spent feeding in summer than in winter/dry season, and more time spent grooming and moving in winter/dry season than summer in the rural group. In contrast, time spent resting was greater in the monsoon and summer seasons than the winter/dry season in the urban group. Grooming time was greater in the winter/dry season than the monsoon and summer seasons. In both groups, immature of both sexes spent significantly more time on feeding and object manipulation/playing and less time resting than adults. Adult females spent more time grooming than males and immatures, of both sexes, in both groups. Moreover, the rural group spent most of their time feeding on garden/crop produce and wild plant food resources, while the urban group spent more time feeding on provisioned foods. These results showed that differences in the activity budgets of rural and urban dwelling macaques were due largely to the differences in available food resources. Commensal rhesus macaques show a high degree of behavioral flexibility in response to habitat and resource variability, and knowledge of these differences is important for the conservation and management of highly commensal primates.


Habitat effect Resource type Rural and urban group Behavioral activity Rhesus macaque 



We would like to thank the Wildlife Circle of the Forest Department, Ministry of Environment of Bangladesh Government, for giving us permission to conduct this study. We are grateful to Sadhona Pharmaceutical Co. for permission to conduct observations on their property. We are most grateful to Dr. Jean-Baptist Leca for his suggestion regarding statistical analysis and Drs. A. Mori, K. Watanabe, T. Furuichi, C. Hashimoto, Y. Tsuji, and other faculty of the Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, PRI, for their critical comments and suggestions during the research period. This study was supported in part by a Graduate Studies Scholarship “Monbukagakusho” (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) to M.F.J.. We thank the HOPE Project, a core-to-core program sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), for providing travel funds to Bangladesh to carry out research between the 2007 and 2010 field visits. Our sincere thanks to Dr. M. Zashim Uddin and the Herbarium of the Botany Department, University of Dhaka, for identifying all of the plant species. Special thanks are also due to the Meteorological Department in Agargaon, Dhaka, for providing us with meteorological data for the study period. We are grateful to Mrs. D. Roy, D. Shah, M. Islam, and M. Hossain for assistance in the field. Finally, we express our sincere gratitude to Professor S. U. Sarker for his guidance and many helpful recommendations during the fieldwork.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  2. 2.Wildlife Biology and Protected Area Management Section, Department of ZoologyUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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