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Population Recovery of Nicobar Long-Tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis umbrosus following a Tsunami in the Nicobar Islands, India

Velankar, Avadhoot D and Kumara, Honnavalli N and Pal, Arijit and Mishra, Partha Sarathi and Singh, Mewa (2016) Population Recovery of Nicobar Long-Tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis umbrosus following a Tsunami in the Nicobar Islands, India. In: PLOS ONE, 11 (2).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148205

Abstract

Natural disasters pose a threat to isolated populations of species with restricted distributions, especially those inhabiting islands. The Nicobar long tailed macaque. Macaca fascicularis umbrosus, is one such species found in the three southernmost islands (viz. Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Katchal) of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India. These islands were hit by a massive tsunami (Indian Ocean tsunami, 26 December 2004) after a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. Earlier studies Umapathy et al. 2003; Sivakumar, 2004] reported a sharp decline in the population of M. f. umbrosus after thetsunami. We studied the distribution and population status of M. f. umbrosus on thethree Nicobar Islands and compared our results with those of the previous studies. We carried out trail surveys on existing paths and trails on three islands to get encounter rate as measure of abundance. We also checked the degree of inundation due to tsunami by using Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) on landsat imageries of the study area before and after tsunami. Theencounter rate of groups per kilometre of M. f. umbrosus in Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Katchal was 0.30, 0.35 and 0.48 respectively with the mean group size of 39 in Great Nicobar and 43 in Katchal following the tsunami. This was higher than that reported in the two earlier studies conducted before and after the tsunami. Post tsunami, there was a significant change in the proportion of adult males, adult females and immatures, but mean group size did not differ as compared to pre tsunami. The results show that population has recovered from a drastic decline caused by tsunami, but it cannot be ascertained whether it has reached stability because of the altered group structure. This study demonstrates the effect of natural disasters on island occurring species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to thePUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 1160 BATTERY STREET, STE 100, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2016 05:45
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 10:06
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53593

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