CITES: Appendix II
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IUCN Red List: M. nemestrina: VU
(What is Red List?)
Key: VU = Vulnerable
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)
CONSERVATION THREATS & POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation
The most serious threat to primate populations in Indonesia and Malaysia
is the unsustainable practice of timber extraction. Habitat destruction
and the subsequent degradation, either from commercial timber harvesting
or conversion of land to agriculture poses a very serious threat to any
arboreal primates or those that depend
on primary forest, as do pigtail
macaques (Rijksen & Meijaard 1999). In India, habitat destruction is also
a problem. Slash and burn (swidden) agriculture, or jhum, by local people threatens forests in the area while monoculture
tree plantations are replacing primary forest in much of the area, leading
to a loss of usable habitat for pigtail macaques (Choudhury 2003). Small
scale harvesting of forest products can have a severe effect on the quality
of habitat in an area. Collection of firewood and selectively cutting trees
for building materials as well as harvesting other forest products are steady
pressures that lead to serious consequences for forest structure and composition
(Srivastava et al. 2001). Pigtail macaques require the continued existence
of large expanses of forest, but with the human population in their range
growing quickly, forest clearing for agriculture is likely to continue and
increase. Harvesting forest products will also increase leading to severe
degradation and fragmentation of the
forest and subsequent displacement of pigtail macaques (Choudhury 2003).
The establishment of forest reserves that are reliably safe from extractive
practices are necessary. The convergence of thousands of families using forest
products obviously has serious effects on intact forests and leads to widespread
destruction. Governments of the range countries for pigtail macaques need to
implement substantial rules enforced by forest rangers in the areas currently
classified as protected as well as add more area to the protected forests.
Rather than just blocking local people from the forests through guards, though,
there needs to be serious educational programming for local communities to understand
the cumulative effect of each family removing firewood and other forest products
(Srivastava & Mohnot 2001; Srivastava et al. 2001). These seemingly harmless
practices that remove only a bundle of sticks from the forest each day with small
hand tools can have the same aggregate impacts as commercial logging operations
over time (Srivastava et al. 2001).
Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)
The pigtail macaque is killed for food by many tribes in northeastern India
and has been hunted to near extirpation
in some states (Choudhury 2003). Though there is no significant trade in pigtail
macaques as pets, any young animal that can be captured is taken as a pet. They are
also illegally captured for supply to zoos (Choudhury 2003).
They are also threatened because of their high demand for biomedical research,
especially as models for diseases such as AIDS (Rowe 1996).
Changing the attitudes of local people in areas around and near pigtail macaque
habitat will be necessary in order to stop the hunting of these animals.
Conservation education and conservation action plans should be directed at and
involve local people that live in and around forested areas as well as increasing
awareness through media coverage could encourage local people to be aware of the
conservation impact of their actions (Srivastava & Mohnot 2001). Furthermore,
increasing the efficacy of primate protection both through game wardens and
conservation officers in the forested regions could decrease the amount of illegal
hunting in the area (Srivastava & Mohnot 2001).
Pollution caused by opencast or strip coal mining is significant in the pigtail
macaque's range in India (Srivastava & Mohnot 2001).
The Indian government can control the degrading effects of this type of mining
and the direct impact to pigtail macaques by regulating more closely mining operations,
especially those near reserves known to harbor pigtail macaques.
LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Macaca nemestrina CONSERVATION
Content last modified: September 12, 2005
Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang. Reviewed by Dario Maestripieri.
Cite this page as:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2005 September 12. Primate Factsheets: Pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/pigtail_macaque/cons>. Accessed 2014 March 12.