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Lion-Tailed Macaque

Context:

Recently, Lion-tailed macaque has been sporadically spotted by conservationists in the forests of Nadugani, shared by the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu and Nilambur in Kerala.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Lion-tailed Macaque
  2. Conservation Status

Lion-tailed Macaque:

  • Species Classification: The Lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) belongs to the category of Old World monkeys.
  • Distinctive Male Behavior: A unique trait of this species is that males establish the boundaries of their home territories through vocal calls.
  • Rich Communication System: These macaques employ a communication system featuring as many as 17 distinct vocalizations.
Appearance
  • Grey Mane: They are recognizable by the gray mane encircling their face.
  • “Bearded” Monkeys: They are sometimes referred to as bearded monkeys due to their distinctive facial hair.
  • Tail Characteristics: The Lion-tailed macaque’s name is derived from its lion-like tail, which is lengthy, slender, and adorned with a tuft.
Habitat
  • Exclusive to India: This species is found exclusively in India.
  • Endemic Range: Lion-tailed macaques are native to the fragmented rainforests of the Western Ghats, particularly in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
Threats
  • Habitat Destruction: The primary threat to the Lion-tailed macaque population is the degradation and loss of their rainforest habitat.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN Status: Listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
  • CITES Listing: Included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which offers the highest level of protection.
  • Wildlife Protection Act: In India, the Lion-tailed macaque is categorized under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, granting it legal protection.

-Source: The Hindu


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