White-Cheeked Macaque Cited in Arunachal Pradesh

Recently, in an important discovery, scientists recorded presence of White-Cheeked Macaque (Macaca leucogenys) from central Arunachal Pradesh in India.

  • The species has not been sighted or reported from India after a single incidence of photographic capture from Anjaw district, Arunachal Pradesh in 2015, which raises controversy about its existence in India among the primatologists.
  • White- Cheeked Macaques are distinct from other macaques found in the region by displaying white cheeks, long and thick hairs on the neck area, and a longer tail.
  • Along with White-Cheeked Macaques and Arunachal Macaque the other species of Macaques are Assamese Macaque (Macaca assamensis) and Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) reported from the same landscape.
  • White Cheeked Macaque has not yet been included in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India and therefore, the present study laid the foundation to promote field studies in Central Arunachal Pradesh to delineate distribution boundary and population size of White Cheeked Macaque in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The number of mammalian species reported from India stands at 434. The significance of the discovery is that it marks a new addition to mammals of India.