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About Sela Macaque


A new species of old-world monkey recorded from Arunachal Pradesh has been named after Sela Pass, which is a strategic mountain pass at 13,700 ft above sea level, and the New Species has been named Sela Macaque.

  • It was identified and analysed by a team of experts from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the University of Calcutta.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Sela macaque
  2. About the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
  3. Publications and other works of the ZSI

About Sela macaque

  • The Sela macaque was geographically isolated from the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) of Tawang district, according to phylogenetic analysis.
  •  It was discovered to be genetically distinct from the other monkey species reported from this region,
    • Phylogenetics refers to the evolutionary development and diversity of a species or group of organisms.
  • The Sela macaque is genetically related to the Arunachal macaque, according to the study.
    • Physically, the two have a lot in common, such as a comparable build and long dorsal body hair.
    • Both animals have troops that either avoid or are accustomed to being in close contact to people.
  • There are some distinct morphological traits to differentiate the two species. 
    • While the Sela macaque has a pale face and brown coat, the Arunachal macaque has a dark face and dark brown coat.
  • Sela macaque has a tail longer than the Tibetan macaque, Assamese macaque, Arunachal macaque and the white-cheeked macaque but shorter than the bonnet macaque and toque macaque.
  • Sela macaque belongs to the sinica species-group of Macaca, but it differs from all other members of this group through attributes such as brown collar hair and muzzle, thick brown hair around the neck and the absence of chin whiskers.
  • Sela macaque is a major cause of crop loss in the West Kameng district of the State.

About the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was founded in 1916  by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoFCC) as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the country.
  • It originated as a Zoological Section of the Indian Museum in Kolkata and its headquarters is in Kolkata.
  • It has been declared as a designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per Section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002.
The primary objectives of the ZSI are:
  • To promote the survey, exploration, research, and documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy in the Indian subcontinent. It also seeks the advancement of knowledge on animal taxonomy.
  • To Make a status survey of the threatened and endemic species.
  • Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India, and Fauna of States.
  • Bio-ecological studies on important communities/species.
  • Preparation of database for the recorded species of the country.
  • Maintenance and Development of National Zoological Collections.

Publications and other works of the ZSI

  • ZSI publishes the Red Data Book on Indian Animals. It was first published in 1983 and is similar to the Red Data Book published by IUCN.
  • Publication of results including Fauna of India, Fauna of States, and Fauna of Conservation Areas.
  • It works for the development of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Centres.
  • It Conducts collaborative research programs on “Biodiversity” with other organisations in India and abroad.
  • The ZSI is also involved in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing studies on recorded animal diversity as well as on threatened species.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2024