A Global Assessment of Macaque-Human Interactions
This literature review provides a contemporary and comprehensive global assessment of human interaction with the most widely distributed genus of non-human primate (NHP), the macaque (Genus: Macaca), with a focus on macaque-human interactions, societal perceptions of macaques and the management of the macaque-human interface. Rates of macaque-human interaction are high, but vary substantially between geographical locations, with the highest reported rates of interaction occurring in Gibraltar. Aggressive macaque-human interaction receives particular attention and is found to correlate with several factors, especially important being the recorded increase in rates of aggressive interaction in the presence of food triggers. The enforcement of a feeding ban at locations where macaques interact with humans is therefore essential to reduce rates of aggressive macaque-human interaction. Other management strategies used vary between locations, but few techniques are effective at excluding macaques permanently on a large scale, except for lethal control and long-distance translocation, both with severe limitations. A suite of techniques therefore needs to be employed to manage macaque-human interaction in order to minimise human-macaque conflict, which is shown to be of societal importance and to pose a conservation threat for macaques, especially when concurrent with primary threats, such as habitat loss or human harvesting. Societal perceptions of macaques matter because they shape choice of management strategies, but even positive local perceptions may be undermined by repeat interactions involving personal loss or damage. Substantial data absences exist in the global literature; the standard collection of basic interaction data is recommended for all studies working with macaque-human interaction and a list of data to report is suggested. Six key locations for further research are identified: Morocco and Algeria, Taiwan, South-eastern Tibet (North-east India and South-west China), Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, and Myanmar (Burma).
Index Terms- Human dimensions of wildlife management, macaque-human interaction, primate populations, societal perceptions of macaques