Fed bread and biscuits, monkeys are eating less fruit, says study

Sengupta, Asmita (2016) Fed bread and biscuits, monkeys are eating less fruit, says study. The Times of India.

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    Abstract

    Like to feed monkeys while you're exploring forests or visiting places of worship? Your act of kindness towards a primate can cause major changes in the forest food web and the ecosystem. A recent study by Asmita Sengupta from the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) and her team has found that the human act has reduced the fruit intake of monkeys (which they get from trees) by half. Tourists usually feed biscuits, bread and other eatables to the animals. The study was conducted to understand the effects of provisioning - providing of extra food - by humans on the rhesus macaque, a species of monkey . Researchers say these monkeys are an important seed disperser for many fruit varieties in forests and feeding by humans is prov ing to be dangerous to such natural processes. This study, conducted at the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal, has found that provisioning has an adverse effect on seed dispersal and frugivory (fruit-eating) behaviour of rhesus macaques. "Due to the smaller daily ranges of macaques during the provisioned period, seeds didn't get dispersed (through their faeces) as far as they would have if there had been no provisioning. Moreover, a large number of seeds was deposited on motorable roads, not conducive for ger mination. This can bring about changes in plant dy namics as well as gene flow in forests," said Sengupta.

    Item Type: Media Clippings
    Additional Information: Copyright belongs to Publisher
    Subjects: School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Animal Behaviour
    Programmes > Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation
    Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
    Depositing User: K Rajesh
    Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2016 05:10
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2016 05:10
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/949

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