Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Nature Conservation Foundation expedition documents new species of primate!

Arunachal macaque adult male newly 'discovered' by the NCF has damaging crops and waging war with locals for years

Wildlife research and exploration in Arunachal Pradesh, uniquely situated at the junction of the Eastern Himalaya and Indo-Burma, has so far largely remained restricted to its low and mid-elevation habitats, with its high altitude wildlife being virtually unexplored and unprotected. It was, therefore, not entirely surprising when our two recent expeditions to inventory the high altitude wildlife of Arunachal Pradesh led to the discovery of a fairly large population of a previously-undescribed macaque in the state’s westernmost districts of Tawang and West Kameng.

This primate is presumably a species new to science, and we have proposed its name as the Arunachal macaque Macaca arunachalensis. It is commonly referred to as the munzala or ‘monkey of the deep forest’ by the local Dirang Monpa people.

Story here.

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