Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monkey Urbanization

At the fringes of the city where we trek and picnic, we often find groups of monkeys. These are long-tailed macaques. They inhabit a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary forest, mangroves, plantations. They are also quite happy in the outskirts of towns and villages. The macaque has a varied diet - fruits, leaves, small mammals and birds, shellfish and crabs. They also love human food!

But when used to human handouts, the cute monkeys become less pleasant. They stop looking for food in the forest and pester humans instead. The aggressive will snatch food away from children; they can get very aggressive.
From ecologyasia

Feeding also results in an unnaturally large monkey group size. A normal group of monkeys in the wild usually has 15-30 members. Groups that are fed by humans can be twice as big or more. More monkeys in a group mean more conflicts between monkeys".

Wild Singapore

Recently in Malaysia, the government is considering a culling exercise to curb monkey overpopulation in town areas. There was a report about some of these animals being infected with tuberculosis and the herpes B virus, but experts say that the infected macaques do not pose a danger to the public.

In Singapore, feeding monkeys is a crime: this year a man was fined 4000 Singapore Dollars (USD2900).

More advice from Wild Singapore
  • Do not offer food to the monkeys.
  • Do not bring food and or eat in forested areas.
  • Avoid carrying plastic bags openly in forested areas.
  • Make sure your children are not eating or holding food near monkeys.
  • Dispose your litter into the monkey-proof bins provided. Better still, take your litter out of forested areas with you.

"Don't feed the monkeys: you will do them more harm than good"


Kyle and Svet Keeton said...

Hi, Mazlin!

Thank you for very interesting article!

I think we have dogs instead monkeys here... I wish we could walk in the forest and watch monkeys, I think everybody consider monkeys as cute little animals that's why it's so difficult to convince people NOT to feed them!

Thank you very much for this article and wonderful pictures,
Svet and Kyle

Mazlin Ghazali said...

Remember! Moscow has squirrels!