Askot Primate Project (APP)

About APP: Askot Primate Project is a conservation project for the nonhuman primate species inhabiting the Himalayan region, initiated in the Askot Landscape in Uttarakhand, India. Within the diversified landscape of Askot with habitats ranging from subtropical mixed forests to high-altitude meadows, there exist three species of nonhuman primates. These are Himalayan langur (Semnopithecus schistaceus), Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis), with the possible (unconfirmed) occurrence of the Terai langur (Semnopithecus hector). This great diversity of primate species and their habitats are in need of conservation as various threats to them are existing in the area. The project aims to address these issues.

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Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) raiding

Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) raiding crops, Askot Landscape

Human-Nonhuman Primate Interface: Conflict and other negative interactions between humans and nonhuman primates are some of the pressing conservation issues concerning our closest relatives. Phenomena like hunting, crop-raiding, confrontation, disease transmission etc. are threatening the survival of primates living near humans and causing economic losses to people. On the other hand, positive perceptions of nonhuman primates amongst people are immensely important for the continued existence of these species in their natural habitats. Therefore, the first leg of the Askot Primate Project started with an assessment of the interface of humans and nonhuman primates in the Askot Landscape with the ultimate goal of conflict mitigation and conservation planning.

Project timeline: Although some preliminary work on primates was done in the Askot Landscape during 2010-11 and during 2015-16, the Askot Primate Project (APP) was formally started with a grant from the Rufford Foundation, UK, in December 2016. The project later received a grant from the Primate Conservation, Inc., USA, in February 2018. Both of these were individual grants to Subhajit Saha. APP is presently brought under Askot Foundation as a project run by it.

Field photograph from Askot Landscape

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