“Conserving Primate Diversity in the Anthropocene: Challenges and Strategies”
Primate Biogeography, Ecology & Behaviour, Cognition and Conservation
Urban Primate Ecology and Human-Primates Interaction
Primate Health, Hygiene, Zoo Management and Conservation Breeding
Primate Phylogeny, Genetics and Forensics
Primate Trades and Trans-boundary issues, Advocacy and Policy Management
Primate in Literature, folklore, Outreach and Training
Primate and Climate Change
India, a mega-biodiversity country harbours 26 species of non-human primates. Distribution of non-human primates in India covers different phyto-ecological zones in the country. Out of these 26 species, the Nilgiri langur (Semnopithecus johnii) and lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) in western ghats and golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) in Indo-Bhutan border, Himalayan Grey langur (Semnopithecus ajax) for the Indo-Nepal border are endemic and restricted distribution in India.
The Northeast India comprising of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim can be physiographically categorized into the Eastern Himalayas, Northeast hills (Patkai-Naga Hills and Lushai Hills) and the Brahmaputra and Barak Valley plains. Situating at the confluence of the Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese and Indian bio-geographical realms, the Northeast India is unique in providing a profusion of habitats, which features diverse biota with a high level of endemism. Out of the total 26 species of non-human primates in India 12 species viz. Bengal slow loris ( Nyctecebus bengalensis), rhesus macaque ( Macaca mulatta ), Asssamese macaque ( M. assamensis ), Northern pig-tailed macaque ( M. leonina ),stump-tailed macaque ( M. arctoides ), Arunachal macaque ( M.a munzala ), white-cheeked macaque ( M. luecogenys), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus), golden langur (T. geei), Phayre’s leaf monkey (T. phayrei),western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock)and eastern hoolock gibbon (H. leuconedys) are distributed in northeast India. Except rhesus macaque and Assamese macaque, the distributions of remaining 10 species are exclusive to the region. The Arunachal macaque (M. munzala), which is new to science was discovered only in the year 2005 (Sinha et al 2005) from Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. Similarly distribution of eastern hoolock gibbon from the region is also a very recent reporting (Das et al 2006). The distribution of another species i.e. white cheeked macaque in the region is another most recent finding (Chetry et al.2015). As per Indian WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972, six species viz. Slow loris, capped langur, golden langur, Phayre’s leaf monkey, western hoolock gibbon and eastern hoolock gibbon are Schedule I species and six macaques species are Schedule II. As per IUCN assessment, 4 species are Endangered and 8 are Vulnerable.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are the key threats for non-human primates and other wildlife in the country. Additionally, there is hunting pressure in some areas especially in Northeast India. Again there is a rising trend in human-monkey conflict in recent years across the country. Crop raiding by monkeys has become a common problem not only in fringe areas of forests but also in other areas. Urban populations of monkeys are also creating problems. In fact monkey menace has emerged as crucial issue in certain parts of the country. For the human-monkey coexistence, it is urgently needed to find out the causes of conflicts and potential management methods.
The scientific researches in non-human primates are expanding. However, emerging issues like impacts of climate change on primates and their habitats,dynamics of human-monkey conflictsand threats of zoonotic diseases, conservationand management aspects of the threatened primates species in changing scenario are need to be understood and addressed.
The Pre Symposium “Training on Field Methods in Primate Conservation Biology” (5th, 6th and 7th February, 2020) will provide opportunity to the young primatologists to learn the research techniques from renowned primatologists and this, in turn, will help them in building their capacity and career.
Primatologists from different corners of the world specially across Asia will get common platform to share their findings, views and ideas regarding diverse primate related issues through this symposium (8th, 9th and 10th February, 2020). This exchanging of ideas among veteran and budding primatologists will contribute a lot to the field of primatology and will also help in ongoing efforts of conservation and management of non-human primates.
Viewing the rich diversity of primate in the state of Assam in northeast India , Guwahati, the capital city of the state has been selected as the organizing site for the both the symposium and pre-symposium training.