How perception of local people towards rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) can influence on decision-making of human-macaque conflict mitigation?
Keywords:India, local people perception, primate conservation, management wildlife-human confilicts
A field study was conducted to investigate perception of local people towards conservation of macaques and possible mitigation strategies can be opted to reduce human-macaque conflict in urban landscape. Questionnaire survey was designed to collect qualitative and quantitative information including 608 respondents in and around Asola-Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, India during 2016-2017. Our study result showed that there were 21 groups of rhesus macaques available in the study area and caused severe damage to the nearby localities and harassed a total of 466 numbers of individuals. Maximum number of conflict incidences (n=502) were recorded from Sanjay Colony, Bhatti mines area, designated as Site 1 due to maximum availability of food and shelter, large troop size (35-40 individuals) and lack of knowledge of local people. Minimum number of conflict incidences (n=157) were recorded from Surajkund area, designated as Site 7 despite of having multiple food resources because of small troop size (15-20 individuals) and conservation awareness of local people. In this study, we compared socio-cultural aspect of selected locations of study area, socio-economic characteristics of two extreme respondent groups from site 1 and site 7 and also distinguished different age groups of respondents and compared their opinion on mitigation of conflict in urban situation. In the conclusion, it can be said that attitude and perception of local people can contribute in conservation of rhesus macaques and in reducing risk of negative association during conflict. Perception of local people can be helpful in decision making and policy implementation in urban monkey population management.
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