Lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus)



Lion Tailed Macaque in its natural habitat in Nelliyampathy, Kerala

Photographed on 24th April, 2016



Lion Tailed Macaque feeding on a Calotes

Photographed on 24th April, 2016 at Nelliyampathy, Kerala

The following is from Wikepedia

A recent assessment for IUCN reports 3000-3500 of these animals live scattered over several areas in Kerala.[7] The lion-tailed macaque ranks among the rarest and most threatened primates. Their range has become increasingly isolated and fragmented by the spread of agriculture and tea, coffee, teak and cinchona, construction of water reservoirs for irrigation and power generation, and human settlements to support such activities. They do not live, feed or travel through plantations. Destruction of their habitat and their avoidance of human proximity have led to the drastic decrease of their population.

From 1977 to 1980, public concern about the endanged status of lion-tailed macaque became the focal point of Save Silent Valley, India’s fiercest environmental debate of the decade. From 1993 to 1996, 14 troops were observed in Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, one of the most undisturbed viable habitats left for them.[8]

A self-sustainable single population of 32 groups of lion-tailed macaques occurred in Sirsi-Honnavara, Karnataka, the northernmost population of the species.[9] A local census concluded in 2007, conducted in the Theni District of Tamil Nadu, put their numbers at around 250, which was considered encouraging, because till then, no lion-tailed macaques had been reported in that specific area.[10] The species is also prominently found in the Papanasam part of the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Many zoos take part in breeding programs which help to secure the survival of this species. About 338 of these macaques are reported to live in zoos.[4] However, it is no longer on ‘The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates’ list, after the international body compiling it determined that the local governments in southern India had acted positively to protect it.