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Field research

Interactions between humans and macaques are not always problematic, but genuine conflict can be extremely detrimental to macaque welfare and conservation, as well as human health and human livelihood.  Understanding the causes and effects of such conflict is vital if such problems are to be solved humanely.  Field research is key to understanding primate populations, ecology and behaviour, local cultural beliefs and practices and the nature of human-primate interactions wherever they occur.

Rhesus macaque Swayambunath Nepal - B Al

A study conducted at Baluran National Park in Indonesia concluded that excessive feeding of long-tailed macaques by tourists caused artificial inflation of the macaques’ populations in and around  accessible areas. Not only does such a situation create a false sense of overall abundance, but it also creates and worsens aggressive interactions. The study found that feeding was primarily done by tourists, rather than locals - contrary to the anecdotal evidence the researchers had been provided with at the start of the study.

A study on crop-raiding macaques in Nepal found that relationships between humans are an important variable in predicting the effects of crop raiding on a community. Effective mitigation measures employed on one farm could cause rifts between farmers, as “macaques may simply shift their raids to unprotected fields or adjacent farms.” The authors concluded that integrative approaches are necessary to address crop-raiding problems, focusing not just on the monkeys themselves, but also on “humans faced with the challenges of crop-raiding.”

Please use this map or the table below to explore the projects helping with macaque issues across Asia.

Please explore our Macaque Projects & Mitigation page to find out more about specific field research projects that benefit macaques.

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