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Ecology and Activity of Himalayan Foothill Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca Mulatta)

Neville, Melvin K.
Ecology 1968 v.49 no.1 pp. 110-123
Macaca mulatta, adults, altitude, coniferous forests, food availability, forest habitats, hills, home range, humans, males, monkeys, population density, tropical forests, India
Himalayan foothill rhesus monkeys were studied for a year at three forest habitats and in the town of Haldwani in Uttar Pradesh, India. Food supplies in the forest diminished both in abundance and variety as altitude increased during the ascent from tropical forests at the base of the foothills to subtropical pine and temperate oak forests at elevations of 5000 ft or more. Home range, day range, population density, and activity patterns also varied with altitude: monkey troops in the less favorable areas had larger home ranges and day ranges and were more often on the move during the day, while the lower elevations had a higher population density of monkeys. Increased mobility was a characteristic of one subtropical pine forest troop lacking any adult male. Both the abundance of food in Haldwani and the limited tolerance of the human inhabitants limited home ranges there to about 0.02 mi², approximately 1/20 that of the smallest forest troop home range. Activity patterns were more stereotyped in the town than in the forest. The population density of the occupied portion of town was much more than in the forests, but less than on Cayo Santiago. Night time activity is probably greater in town.