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Long-Term Population Survey of the Sulawesi Black Macaques (Macaca nigra) at Tangkoko Nature Reserve, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

TitleLong-Term Population Survey of the Sulawesi Black Macaques (Macaca nigra) at Tangkoko Nature Reserve, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKyes, RC, Iskandar, E, Onibala, jane, Paputungan, U, Laatung, S, Huettmann, F
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology

The Sulawesi black macaque (Macaca nigra) population at Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been the focus of periodic study for over 30 years. The population has shown considerable decline during much of that time. Here we present the results of a long-term population survey of the Tangkoko M. nigra, conducted over the past decade, to provide updated information and on-going assessment of the population. Line-transect sampling was conducted annually from 1999 to 2002 and 2005 to 2011 along the same transect during a 2- to 3-week survey period. Although further decline in the population was observed at the outset of the survey, over the subsequent 12-year period we have seen stability in the population parameters with evidence of modest increases in both group and population density. During the 1999–2002 survey periods, there was a mean group density of 3.6 groups/km2 and a mean population density of 39.8 individuals/km2. During 2005–2011, mean group density increased to 3.8 groups/km2 and mean population density was 51.4 individuals/km2. The 2011 survey data indicated an estimated group density of 4.3 groups/km2 and a population density of 61.5individuals/km2. Given that our transect was located in the core of the Tangkoko reserve, our density estimates should be limited to that area of the reserve. One explanation for the apparent stabilization of the population may be tied to the increasing and sustained number of training and research programs being conducted at the reserve. This collective effort by local and international groups maybe helping to reduce illegal activity in the reserve (i.e., hunting and habitat destruction) and generate greater awareness of this critically endangered species. Without the continued vigilance afforded by the existing research and training programs and the support and involvement of the local people, the M. nigra at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve will likely face further decline.

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