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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 20:217-226 (2013)  -  DOI:

Crop-raiding macaques: predictions, patterns and perceptions from Langtang National Park, Nepal

Ganga Ram Regmi1,2, K. Anne-Isola Nekaris1, Kamal Kandel2, Vincent Nijman1,*

1Department of Anthropology and Geography, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
2Global Primate Network-Nepal, GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Crop-raiding by wild animals is increasingly known to cause conflict between these animals and humans; subsequent losses incurred by farmers may make communities antagonistic and intolerant towards wildlife protection. There is an increasing need to understand interspecific and geographic differences in patterns of crop-raiding. Here, focussing on macaques, a group of primates that feature high on the list of crop-raiders throughout Asia, we calculate incidence rates (IRs; the proportion of farms where a particular crop is raided by macaques in relation to the total number of farms where this crop is grown and available to macaques) for different crops and relate this to physical and temporal features. Based on interview data from 120 farmers in 3 Village Development Committees in Lantang National Park in Nepal, IRs were highest for potato (0.783) and maize (0.697) and lower for cereals (0.353 and 0.357 for buckwheat and millet, respectively), and IRs of 4 crops were negatively related to the distance to the forest edge. IRs for potato and maize were close to 1 near the forest edge but dropped significantly when the distance between the forest edge and fields exceeded 150 and 400 m, respectively. Farmers mostly employed benign crop-deterrent tactics, but macaques disproportionally raided farms in the early hours of the day, presumably to avoid conflict with farmers. Comparisons with IRs from other macaque species from Sri Lanka and Indonesia show that IRs are not related to caloric or nutritional content of crops or to the quantities in which crops are grown. With respect to the management of macaques and mitigating conflict due to crop-raiding, we advocate an integrative approach taking into account both the IRs and the interactions among macaques, crops and farmers but also the relations among the farmers themselves and the local authorities.

KEY WORDS: Cercopithecidae · Conservation attitudes · Crop-raiding risk · Human–wildlife conflict · Management

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Cite this article as: Regmi GR, Nekaris KAI, Kandel K, Nijman V (2013) Crop-raiding macaques: predictions, patterns and perceptions from Langtang National Park, Nepal. Endang Species Res 20:217-226.

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