Skip to content Skip to navigation

New primate discovered

A group of wildlife photographers and biologists from North East India have reported discovering of a new species of primate to India, the White Cheeked Macaque, in Arunachal Pradesh!

Arunachal Pradesh, lying in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, finds itself on the global map of latest discoveries, with the report of this new species of primate. The White-cheeked Macaque (Macaca leucogenys) was first spotted at the Anjaw district, lying in the Eastern corner Arunachal Pradesh.

This astounding discovery has been made by a team of biologists and wildlife photographers comprising of Dr. Ranjan Kumar Das, Udayan Borthakur and Dr. Dilip Chetry. The team, accompanied by professional bird guide Binanda Hatibarua was on a birdwatching trip to the easternmost district of India in March 2015, when they had this sighting.  On the basis of photographs of a group of macaque taken during the trip, it has been confirmed to be the White-cheeked Macaque. The White-cheeked Macaque itself is a species new to science, first reported by Dr. Li Cheng and his group from the Modog in South-eastern Tibet in China in 2015. The species has been discovered on the basis of photographic records and differs considerably from all potential sympatric macaque species, such as Raesus Macaque, Arunachal Macaque, Tibetan macaque and Assamese macaque. It exhibits a suite of pelage characteristics including relatively uniform dorsal hair pattern, hairy ventral pelage, relative hairless short tail, prominent pale to white side- and chin-whiskers creating a white cheek and round facial appearance, dark facial skin on the muzzle, long and thick hair on its neck, and round rather than arrow-shaped male genitalia.

Dr. Ranjan Kumar Das, renowned bird expert from the region and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Tinsukia College was able to get one of the first few photographs of this species during the trip. He commented, "I am truly excited to be a part of this discovery and to contribute to the understanding of the species through my photography work.”

Dr. Dilip Chetry, primatologist and the Head of Primatology Division at Aaranyak stated, "On the basis of our observations, the photographs and experts' comments, we have come to the conclusion that the macaques we observed and photographed in Anjaw District of Arunachal Pradesh is White-cheeked Macaque”.

Udayan Borthakur, well-known wildlife photographer and Head of Wildlife Genetics Division at Aaranyak explained that, "Finding of this new macaque species enhances the prospect of biodiversity conservation in the region and gives thrust on more field studies, research and conservation initiatives.”

He also added that this discovery demonstrates how wildlife photographers can contribute to the knowledge base of species distributions, which is vital in determining conservation priorities in the region.  He expressed his determination to undertake proper scientific studies on this species in the near future.

 

Author info

Drishana Kalita's picture

Add new comment

Random Stories

Humiliating defeat awaits Cong: Modi

31 Mar 2014 - 2:31pm | AT News
Congress is heading for a humiliating defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls if Narendra Modi is to be believed.In his address at a poll rally in Gogamukh to campaign for Lakhimpur BJP candidate...

Tenth molester arrested in Guwahati

17 Jul 2012 - 12:35pm | editor
Police on Monday arrested the tenth molester involved in the Guwahati incident. Identified Dipak Dey, he was arrested from Hatigaon. Earlier Deva Das was arrested from Guwahati on Monday night.He was...

KPLT hostage drama ends

25 Nov 2013 - 8:26am | AT News
KPLT has freed all the workers 24 hours after they kidnapped at gunpoint from Kaziranga.         The five remaining workers reached Kohora on Sunday nights.  ...

Akon Bora land in deep trouble

23 Jul 2010 - 3:34am | editor
In a major set back to the Tarun Gogoi government, the Guwahati High Court has ordered repoll in two booths of the Assembly constituency from where Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora had won as a...

Other Contents by Author

The Golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) has now been listed in the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates! It has been placed in this list due to extensive habitat fragmentation, habitat destruction and encroachment along its distribution range which has led to rapid population decline.This was declared in a sessionunder chairmanship of Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier (Chair,International Union for Conservation of Natures Species Survival Commission Primate specialist Group (IUCN,SSC, PSG) in the joint congress of International Primatological Society and American Society of Primatologist which was held at Chicago, USA from 21st to 27th August 2016. Dr. Dilip Chetry, Head of Primate Research and...
Precious one-horned rhino is facing unprecedented threat to its existence, with as many as 49 Rhinos already dead in 2016 itself. State Forest Minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, had recently revealed these shocking numbers in a statement. According to the official records, 22 rhinos had dies in natural calamity like the recent floods while the rest were butchered by poachers. Assam based Aaranyak, which had been working for the past 2 decades for rhino conservation in the state have submitted a set of recommendations for protection of rhinos and to urgently curb the growing cases of poaching of the species in the state. These were submitted at a workshop titled “NATIONAL LEVEL EXPERT...
For the 10th time since 2008,important delegatesrepresentingthe Governments of Bhutan and Indiaalong with conservation NGOs of the region  met in Guwahati, Assam.The landmark meeting was held on 21st-22nd June 2016 to discuss Conservation of Biodiversity- Issues and Opportunities in the large Transboundary Landscape between India and Bhutan across the International Boundary from the river Sankoshinthe west to the River Dhansiri in the east, referred to as the TransboundaryManas Conservation Area (TraMCA). In India, it includes the Manas Tiger Reserveandin Bhutan,  the forested areas of south  covering the Royal Manas National Park, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Jomotshangkha...
Sunday is the World Environment Day and this year’s global theme “Zero tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade” found resonance in events observed across Assam, to mark the day.New recruits of Assam Police joined hands to learn about nature, to care for the environment and environmental issues through an awareness event organised by Aaranyak in collaboration with Assam chapter of Institutions of Engineers and 4th APBN authorities in Guwahati.A big number of recruits under training at 4th APBN along with officers of 4t APBN attended a plantation programme at 4th APBN campus followed by a meeting on this year's World Environment Day's global theme "Fight Against Illegal Trade in Wildlife"....
Assam’s rivers and wetlands which crisscross the state, may soon lose much needed protection under the Central Government’s new Draft Wetland Rules 2016. The Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India has recently released the Draft Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2016. To analyse the impact of these new Draft on wetlands of Assam, Aaranyak and ActionAid jointly organised a consultation at Guwahati today. The consultation compared the Wetland Rules 2010 with the Draft Wetland Rules 2016, and has found that the new Wetland Rules offers very few protective measures to Assam’s wetlands when compared to the Wetland Rules of 2010.The Consultation suggested a complete...
The Assam StateZoocum Botanical Garden has been recently struggling in many aspects which include availability of much needed field necessities, in a timely manner. The guards and animal keepers have to work in challenging conditions and the lack of basic amenities like proper shoes makes the task at hand more difficult. To provide some much needed relief to the staff of Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden, Guwahati based NGO Aaranyak distributed 178 pairs of shoes and boots in an event held on 16th May 2016 at the Herbarium Meeting Hall, Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden, Guwahati. The shoes which were sponsored by Aaranyak and Katie Adamson Conservation Fund (USA), in association...
For the first time ever, forest guards of Manas National Park, will patrol on motor bikes instead of on foot! The Tiger Conservation at Manas National Park has unfolded a new chapter recently. Extensive and intricate patrolling at the deep heart as well as porous border of Manas is possible now, with the newly introduced Motorbike Patrolling.“Earlier we patrolled on foot and could cover distances only as much our feet would allow. Now that we have motorbikes, we feel better equipped at detailed patrolling of the park”, says Forester MrinmoyHazarika, in a conversation with the Aaranyak team. While trainee Ansuma Brahma added, “We have patrolled 995 kilometres of the Bhuyanpara Range in just...
There is now a new ray of hope for tigers at Manas National Park, Assam. The first step towards conservation of an endangered species is a group of trained Forest Staff. The Manas Tiger Conservation Program (MTCP), launched by Aaranyak jointly with Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Trust of India, Awely of France and BTC Forest Department, promises to double the number of wild tigers at Manas in the coming decade. As an initial step towards this goal, a two week long Training Program on Basic Patrolling Techniques and Data Management for the Forest Staff of Manas National Park was held at the Bhuyanpara Range from 29th of February to 12th March, 2016. Sponsored by the Integrated Tiger...
An army is created to defend a cause, and when women form an army for a cause they believe in earnestly, nothing remains impossible. The women of Dadaravillage in Assam have been slowly but steadily leading a crusade under the leadership of Dr. Purnima Devi Barman for the conservation of the endangered Greater Adjutant Stork which is locally known as Hargila. The families of Dadara have adopted the rare stork as their own, and the species which was on the brink of extinction are slowly getting a new lease of life. 70 women of all ages have now come together to form an ‘Army’ ready to combat all obstacles in the path of Hargila conservation. Their sheer dedication and commitment have got a...
Can genetic research be used to protect wildlife? Aaranyak, a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation based at Guwahati, has proven that the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. After breaking new grounds in conservation efforts in Assam, Aaranyak has now reached out to neighbouring country Bhutan. Bhutan shares a common border with Assam along with a portion of the state’s Manas Tiger Reserve. In a bid to further strengthen conservation activities among both countries, 13 officers of Department of Forests and Park Services from Bhutan have participated in a special capacity building training on application of genetic techniques for wildlife population monitoring, in Guwahati, from 7th to...