9 Feb 2022.
The scientists recently found white cheeked macaque in Arunachal Pradesh. The discovery adds a new species to the mammal list of India. The White Cheeked macaque was first discovered in southeastern Tibet.
About White Cheeked Macaque
- These macaques are different from the other macaques mainly because of their white cheeks. Also, they have a longer tail, long and thick hairs in the neck area.
- It has not yet been included in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The major threat to the species is hunting, habitat degradation, infrastructure development and consumption by the locals.
Other Macaques in India
Apart from the white cheeked macaque, India has Arunachal macaque, Assamese macaque, Rhesus macaque.
It lives in tropical forest, evergreen broad leaved forest, mixed broad leaved conifer forests. It is usually found at an altitude of 1395 meters to 2420 meters. They live in multi – male and multi – female group.
When they find humanns, the white cheeked macaque gives out alarm call, climbs trees and flees. The frequency of its alarm call is different from that of the Assam macaque.
Total mammal count in India
With the discovery of White Cheeked macaque, the total mammal count has increased to 438.
- The macaques are old world monkeys. There are 23 species of macaques in the world. They are mainly found in Asia, North Africa, Gibraltar.
- They mainly feed on leaves, seeds, flowers and tree bark. The pig tailed macaques in Malaysia eat rats. Also, there are crab eating macaques.
Relations with humans
- The macaques are mostly used in animal testing. They are mainly used in neuroscience. The macaques are carriers of herpes B virus.
- The virus is harmless to macaques. But is harmful to humans. In the island of Mauritius, the macaques have become invasive in human settlements.
- Some other species have learned to live along with humans without disturbing them.