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Size matters! The largest wild stump-tailed macaque Macaca arctoides troop ever reported, located in the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, northeastern India

Abstract

Very large and stable, socially coherent primate groups, not including fission-fusion societies, are usually rare in nature, owing to constraints imposed by various ecological and social factors. Moreover, unlike species in open habitats, those in forests tend to have smaller groups, and this becomes further accentuated in small and fragmented forest patches. We report here an unusually large troop of stump-tailed macaques Macaca arctoides from the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, a small and isolated lowland tropical rainforest patch in the Upper Brahmaputra Valley of northeastern India – this is possibly the largest wild group of the species recorded anywhere across its distribution range. We hypothesise the potential factors driving the formation of such a large social group of this vulnerable cercopithecine primate and discuss the conservation implications of this phenomenon.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the late Noren Bhuyan, Dilip Baruah, Jiban Sharma and Sajan Ganju for their help in collecting field data, the Assam Forest Department for research permits, the Corbett Foundation for funding this study, and an anonymous referee, whose comments significantly improved the quality of this paper.

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Correspondence to Narayan Sharma.

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We dedicate this paper to the late Noren Bhuyan, our Noren da, who was one of our most able guides in the forest and an ever-trusted friend.

Corresponding editor: BJ Rao

Communicated by BJ RAO.

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Sharma, N., Bawri, M., Das, D. et al. Size matters! The largest wild stump-tailed macaque Macaca arctoides troop ever reported, located in the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, northeastern India. J Biosci 46, 39 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-021-00157-3

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Keywords

  • Lowland rainforest fragment
  • Predation risk
  • Upper Brahmaputra Valley
  • Assam