On September 10th, 2023, the Thenmala Macaque Project in collaboration with the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary organized a seminar at the Forest Information Centre of the Shendurney Wildlife Division in Thenmala. The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness amongst the locals in Thenmala on Primate Conservation in India. The talk was given by Prof. Mewa Singh from the University of Mysore.
The seminar was presided over by Ms. Sudha Gouri Lekshmi, Ecotourism Programme Officer, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Thenmala, staff and members of the Shendurney Wildlife Department, students of Prof. Mewa Singh along with our team led by Prof. Małgorzata Arlet (AMU, Poland).
Prof. Mewa, during his talk, discussed the rising problem of rapid decrease in green cover due to urbanization which has led to the loss of natural macaque habitat, leading to increased Human – Macaque conflicts. He spoke about the bonnet macaques having learnt to process anthropogenic food to suit their palate and how the macaques have started preferring human settlements due to the abundance of food resources available.
He also addressed the grievances of the locals regarding macaques entering their properties in search of food, which leads to increased human-macaque conflict and suggested possible solutions to avoid possible conflicts in the future.
We ended the seminar with the hope that the message of conserving macaques has reached the audience.
With the support of the forest department, our team plans to conduct more such sessions to spread awareness regarding the importance of conservation of macaques, while also striving to reduce human-macaque conflicts through constant educative interactions with the locals.