International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1001–1018 | Cite as

Distribution and Abundance of Primates in Rain Forests of the Western Ghats, Karnataka, India and the Conservation of Macaca silenus

  • H. N. Kumara
  • Mewa Singh


We assessed the distribution and abundance of 4 species of diurnal primates viz. lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri langur and Hanuman langur, in 2 areas—Brahmagiri-Makut and Sirsi-Honnavara—in rain forests of the Western Ghats in the state of Karnataka, India. The Nilgiri langurs in Brahmagiri-Makut and the lion-tailed macaques in Sirsi-Honnavara are the northernmost populations of the 2 species in the Western Ghats. The 2 regions represent changes in ecological zones in the Western Ghats. In Brahmagiri-Makut, Hanuman langurs and bonnet macaques occupy lower elevations whereas Nilgiri langurs live in relatively higher altitudes. Only one group of lion-tailed macaques was in Brahmagiri-Makut. In the forests of Sirsi-Honnavara, 3 species of primates viz. lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque and Hanuman langur were in larger numbers throughout the forest. A self-sustainable single population of 32 groups of lion-tailed macaques occurred in Sirsi-Honnavara. Few subspecies of Hanuman langurs exist in the study regions. Due to local hunting practices, the relative abundance of primates in Brahmagiri-Makut is lower than that in Sirsi-Honnavara.

primates lion-tailed macaque bonnet macaque Nilgiri langur Hanuman langur rainforests Western Ghats Karnataka Hunting pressure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bhat, H. R. (1982). Additional information on the status of the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) in Karnataka. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Lion-Tailed Macaque, Baltimore, May 19-22.Google Scholar
  2. Brandon-Jones, D., Eudey, A. A., Geissman, T., Groves, C. P., Melnick, D. J., Morales, J. C., Shekelle, M., and Stewart, C.-B. (2004). Asian primate classification. Int. J. Primatol. 25: 97–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Champion, H. G., and Seth, S. K. (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India, Govt. of India Press, Nashik, Maharashtra, India.Google Scholar
  4. Chandran, M.D. S. (1997). Onthe ecological history of the Western Ghats. Curr. Sci. 73: 146–155.Google Scholar
  5. Chellam, R. (1985). Langurs of Mundanthurai. Blackbuck 1: 20–26.Google Scholar
  6. Green, S. M., and Minkowski, K. (1977). The lion-tailed macaque and its south Indian rain forest habitat. In Bourne, G. H., and Rainier, H. S. H. (eds.), Primate Conservation, Academic Press, New York, pp. 289–337.Google Scholar
  7. Groves, C. P. (2001). Primate Taxonomy, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, p. 350.Google Scholar
  8. Harvey, N. C., Clarke, A. S., and Lindburg, D. G. (1991). Morphometric data for adult lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus). Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 85: 233–236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hohmann, G. (1988). Analysis of loud calls provides evidence for hybridization between two Asian leaf monkeys (Presbytis jonii, P. entellus). Folia Primatol. 51: 209–213.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hohmann, G., and Sunderraj, F. S. W. (1990). Survey of Nilgiri langurs and lion-tailed macaques in Tamil Nadu, south India. Primate Conserv. 11: 49–53.Google Scholar
  11. IUCN (1996). 1996 IUCN Redlist of Threatened Animals, IUCN, Gland, Switzerlands.Google Scholar
  12. Karanth, K. U. (1985). Ecological status of the lion-tailed macaque and its rain forest habitats in Karnataka, India. Primate Conserv.6:73–84.Google Scholar
  13. Kumar, A. (1987). Ecology and Population Dynamics of the Lion-Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) in South India, PhD Dissertation, Cambridge University, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  14. Kumar, A., Umapathy, G., and Prabhakar, A. (1995). A study of the management and conser-vation of small mammals in fragmented rain forests in the Western Ghats, south India: A preliminary report. Primate Conserv. 16: 53–58.Google Scholar
  15. Kumara, H. N., and Singh, M. (2004). Distribution and conservation status of mammals in rain forests of the Western Ghats, Karnataka, India. Oryx. (in press).Google Scholar
  16. Kurup, G. U. (1978). Distribution, habitat and status survey of the lion-tailed macaque, Macaca silenus. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 75: 321–340.Google Scholar
  17. Molur, S., Brandon-Jones, D., Dittus, W., Eudey, A., Kumar, A., Singh, M., Feeroz, M. M., Chalise, M., Priya, P., and Walker, S. (2003). Status of South Asian Primates: Conserva-tion Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P.), Workshop report, 2003, Zoo Outreach Organization/CBSG-South Asia, Coimbatore.Google Scholar
  18. Myers, N., Mittermeier, R. A., Mittermeier, C. G., da Fonseca, G. A. B., and Kent, J. (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. National Research Council (NRC) (1981). Techniques for the Study of Primate Population Ecology, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  20. Oates, J. F. (1979). Comments on the geographical distribution and the status of the south Indian black leaf-monkey (Presbytis johnii). Mammalia t.43: 485–493.Google Scholar
  21. Pascal, J. P. (1988). Wet Evergreen Forests of the Western Ghats of India, Institut Francais De Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India, p. 345.Google Scholar
  22. Ramachandran, K. K., and Joseph, G. (2001). Distribution and demography of diurnal primates in Silent Valley National Park and adjacent areas, Kerala, India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 98: 191–196.Google Scholar
  23. Roonwal, M. L., and Mohnot, S. M. (1977). Primates of South Asia: Ecology, Sociobiology, and Behavior, Harvard University Press, London, p. 421.Google Scholar
  24. Ryley, K. B., and Shortridge, G. C. (1913). Bombay Natural History Society's mammal survey of India (Report no. 11). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 22: 486–513.Google Scholar
  25. Singh, M., Kumara, H. N., Ananda Kumar, M., and Sharma, A. K. (2001). Behavioral responses of lion-tailed macaque to a changing habitat in a tropical rain forest fragment in Western Ghats, India. Folia Primatol. 72: 278–291.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Singh, M., Kumara, H. N., Kumar, M. A., Sharma, A. K., and DeFalco, K. (2000). Status and conservation of lion-tailed macaque and other arboreal mammals in tropical rain forests of Sringeri Forest Range, Western Ghats, Karnataka, India. Primate Rep. 58: 5–16Google Scholar
  27. Singh, M., Singh, M., Kumara, H. N., Kumar, M. A., and D'Souza, L. (1997a). Inter-and intra-specific associations of non-human primates in Anaimalai Hills, South India. Mammalia t.61: 17–28.Google Scholar
  28. Singh, M., Singh, M., Kumar, M. A., Kumara, H. N., and D'Souza, L. (1997b). Distribution and research potential of non-human primates in the Aliyar-Valparai sector of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, India. Trop. Biodiv.4:197–208.Google Scholar
  29. Singh, M., Singh, M., Kumar, M. A., Kumara, H. N., Sharma, A. K., and Kaumanns, W. (2002). Distribution, population structure and conservation of lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) in Anaimalai Hills, Western Ghats, India. Am. J. Primatol. 57: 91–102.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Sugiyama, Y. (1968). The ecology of the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus): A pilot study. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 65: 283–292.Google Scholar
  31. Whitesides, G. H., Oates, J. F., Green, S. M., and Kluberdanz, R. P. (1988). Estimating primate densities from transects in a West African Rain Forest: A comparison of techniques. J. Anim. Ecol. 57: 345–367.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. N. Kumara
    • 1
  • Mewa Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Biopsychology LaboratoryUniversity of MysoreMysore-India

Personalised recommendations