Primate Research Center India

Guwāhāti, India

Primate Research Center India

Guwāhāti, India
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Biswas J.,Primate Research Center India | Borah D.K.,Primate Research Center India | Borah D.K.,Gauhati University | Das A.,Primate Research Center India | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2011

The purpose of this study was to determine the taxonomic status of an unidentified enigmatic macaque seen by scientists since the late 1990s in Arunachal Pradesh, India. We surveyed 49 troops of enigmatic macaques in four districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The population studied is from the macaque sinica-group as defined by the reproductive organs. The main species-separating trait in the sinica-group is tail length to head and body length ratio that decreases with latitude and elevation. We gathered data on morphology, pelage descriptions, tail to head and body ratios and tail to hind foot ratios from photos and live animals (43 individuals from 36 areas) within the range of and between the two subspecies of the Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis). We compared the data to six western Assamese macaques and studies of Assamese macaques and related species. We found great variability in tail length, pelage color, facial skin color, and facial and hair patterns. The tail/head-body and tail/foot ratios, although varied, supported the hypothesis that these enigmatic forms were part of a population of Assamese macaques found in the gap between the two subspecies ranges and were not a new species as described earlier. Instead, we found evidence that darker pelage, larger body size, and shorter tails occur at higher elevations and latitudes similar to the general trend in the sinica-group's adaptations to colder climates. Thus, the population may be important for its variation, throwing light on the speciation process and how the northern species of Tibetan macaques evolved from an ancestor similar to the Assamese macaques as adaptations to a colder climate. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Ram M.S.,CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute | Kittur S.M.,CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute | Biswas J.,Primate Research Center India | Nag S.,Primate Research Center India | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Gee's golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) is an endangered colobine primate, endemic to the semi-evergreen and mixed-deciduous forests of Indo-Bhutan border. During the last few decades, extensive fragmentation has caused severe population decline and local extinction of golden langur from several fragments. However, no studies are available on the impact of habitat fragmentation and the genetic diversity of golden langur in the fragmented habitats. The present study aimed to estimate the genetic diversity in the Indian population of golden langur. We sequenced and analyzed around 500 bases of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable region-I from 59 fecal samples of wild langur collected from nine forest fragments. Overall, genetic diversity was high (h = 0.934, p = 0.0244) and comparable with other colobines. Populations in smaller fragments showed lower nucleotide diversity compared to the larger forest fragments. The median-joining network of haplotypes revealed a genetic structure that corresponded with the geographical distribution. The Aie and Champabati Rivers were found to be a barrier to gene flow between golden langur populations. In addition, it also established that T. geei is monophyletic but revealed possible hybridization with capped langur, T. pileatus, in the wild. It is hoped that these findings would result in a more scientific approach towards managing the fragmented populations of this enigmatic species. © 2016 Ram et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Das N.,Gauhati University | Das N.,Primate Research Center India | Das N.,Oxford Brookes University | Nekaris K.A.I.,Oxford Brookes University | And 2 more authors.
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2014

Slow lorises are members of a rare guild of obligate exudativores. Secondary meta - bolites in their diet have been implicated as contributing to the evolution of both their slow basal metabolism and their venom. No long-term study has yet examined the feeding ecology of the largest of the lorises, the Bengal slow loris Nycticebus bengalensis. We conducted an 18 mo study from June 2008 to December 2010 in Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India, to investigate whether Bengal slow lorises prefer gum, and whether there is any evidence of secondary metabolites in their diet. We detected the lorises along line transects using existing trails and followed each animal as long as possible, recording selected behaviours via focal instantaneous sampling. We recorded 629 feeding incidents during 270 night walks. We found that up to 80.9% of feeding bouts were of plant exudates, followed by bark, floral parts, insects, fruits, and tender (i.e. immature) leaves. Within the plant exudate category, 5 species were consumed in 71% of the total exudate feeding bouts: Terminalia chebula, Mesua ferrea, T. arjuna, Ficus hispida and Dillenia indica. These species all have high medicinal value and are commonly used by the local communities for traditional medicinal purposes. Absorption of secondary metabolites from these plants may explain unusual healing patterns observed in wild slow lorises, but lacking in lorises held in captivity. Their dietary affinity towards medicinal plants could explain patterns of use of slow lorises within the traditional medicine trade in the Indo-Chinese region. © Inter-Research 2014.


Das N.,Primate Research Center India | Das N.,Oxford Brookes University | Das N.,Gauhati University | Nekaris K.A.I.,Oxford Brookes University | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

The Bengal slow loris Nycticebus bengalensis is the only strepsirrhine primate in north-east India. It is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The limited information on its status and ecology is the main hindrance to developing a conservation strategy for this species in India. Therefore during February 2009-May 2010 we surveyed the species in 16 protected areas in Assam and one protected area in Arunachal Pradesh. We used recce transects to estimate encounter rates for the species. A team of 3-4 conducted night-time surveys (18.00-03.00) on foot, covering 370 km over 99 full and 28 partial nights. We recorded lorises a total of 22 times in nine protected areas in Assam and three times in the protected area in Arunachal Pradesh. The mean distance of lorises from transects at the time of encounter was 15.04 m, at a mean height of 12.36 m above ground. The encounter rate was 0.06-0.2 lorises per km, which is relatively low compared to encounter rates for slow lorises elsewhere in their range but higher than recorded by other studies in north-east India. We found that despite hunting and habitat loss Bengal slow lorises still exist in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, albeit patchily within a forest block. The protected area network in these states is important for their conservation. © 2014 Fauna & Flora International.


PubMed | Primate Research Center India
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of primatology | Year: 2011

The purpose of this study was to determine the taxonomic status of an unidentified enigmatic macaque seen by scientists since the late 1990s in Arunachal Pradesh, India. We surveyed 49 troops of enigmatic macaques in four districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The population studied is from the macaque sinica-group as defined by the reproductive organs. The main species-separating trait in the sinica-group is tail length to head and body length ratio that decreases with latitude and elevation. We gathered data on morphology, pelage descriptions, tail to head and body ratios and tail to hind foot ratios from photos and live animals (43 individuals from 36 areas) within the range of and between the two subspecies of the Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis). We compared the data to six western Assamese macaques and studies of Assamese macaques and related species. We found great variability in tail length, pelage color, facial skin color, and facial and hair patterns. The tail/head-body and tail/foot ratios, although varied, supported the hypothesis that these enigmatic forms were part of a population of Assamese macaques found in the gap between the two subspecies ranges and were not a new species as described earlier. Instead, we found evidence that darker pelage, larger body size, and shorter tails occur at higher elevations and latitudes similar to the general trend in the sinica-groups adaptations to colder climates. Thus, the population may be important for its variation, throwing light on the speciation process and how the northern species of Tibetan macaques evolved from an ancestor similar to the Assamese macaques as adaptations to a colder climate.


PubMed | Primate Research Center India and CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Gees golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) is an endangered colobine primate, endemic to the semi-evergreen and mixed-deciduous forests of Indo-Bhutan border. During the last few decades, extensive fragmentation has caused severe population decline and local extinction of golden langur from several fragments. However, no studies are available on the impact of habitat fragmentation and the genetic diversity of golden langur in the fragmented habitats. The present study aimed to estimate the genetic diversity in the Indian population of golden langur. We sequenced and analyzed around 500 bases of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable region-I from 59 fecal samples of wild langur collected from nine forest fragments. Overall, genetic diversity was high (h = 0.934, = 0.0244) and comparable with other colobines. Populations in smaller fragments showed lower nucleotide diversity compared to the larger forest fragments. The median-joining network of haplotypes revealed a genetic structure that corresponded with the geographical distribution. The Aie and Champabati Rivers were found to be a barrier to gene flow between golden langur populations. In addition, it also established that T. geei is monophyletic but revealed possible hybridization with capped langur, T. pileatus, in the wild. It is hoped that these findings would result in a more scientific approach towards managing the fragmented populations of this enigmatic species.

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