HOPE report


Extensive distribution survey of Sri Lankan primates and field observation of macaque species in Northern India

Report:Huffman, Michael A.

Date:2009/02/18 - 2009/03/23

This major portion of this trip is the continuation of a long-term effort to investigate the distribution, sub-speciation and conservation status of Sri Lanka's 4 primate species conducted by the HOPE recipient and collaborator Charmalie AD Nahallage in 2004 and 2006. The field survey took place between Feb. 22 and March 3, in areas not yet covered by our team in the North Central Prefecture, focusing on national parks and protected areas including Minneriya NP, Giritale WTC, Wasgamuwa NP, Anuradhapura Cultural Heritage Zone) and those forests and rural residential areas connecting these sites along public roads. Access to these sites and data collection protocol and the standardized questionnaire used were approved and sanctioned by the Wildlife Division of Sri Lanka. We collected GPS (N= 47) points of all direct sittings and locations where questionnaires were taken. 25 fecal samples were collected for DNA sub-species identification and an additional 25 for microscopic parasitological inspection. A series of lectures were given to the undergraduate students of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura in the fundamentals of primatology, as part of a long-term effort to develop a program in primatology by Dr. Nahallage and the applicant. Additionally, in India the applicant visited with collaborator, Prof. Anindya Sinha at the National Institute for Advanced Studies to discuss continuing collaborations in India and Japan, to advice graduate students and participate in seminars. A trip was made to the Delhi area to observe wild populations of rhesus macaques living in the outskirts of the town.

Lecture at USJ
Huffman lecturing on Primate Cultures to 4th year special degree students of Anthropology in
the Department of Anthropology and Sociology,
University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Colombo Sri Lanka
(photo by Charmalie Nahallage).

Team at Giritale
Census team members at entrance of the Giritale National Wildlife Training Center
(left to right) Thalindi Weerasingha, Michael A Huffman, Charmalie Nahallage and our driver Mr. Manjura
(photo by Nadeera Kurrupu). 

Toque macaque on Sigiriya Rock
Toque macaque on among the ruins on top of Sigirya, a World Heritage site in North Central Sri Lanka 
(photo by Charmalie Nahallage).

Wasgomwa NP Toque macaque
Adult female toque macaque in the Wasgomwa National Park, Sri Lanka
(photo by Charmalie Nahallage).

HOPE Project<>