Under this project, we continuously collect data on the behavior of a habituated troop of Himalayan Langurs that live in an anthropogenically modified landscape. The long-term focus of the project is to understand the behavior and ecology of this high-altitude colobine species. It is acutely important to understand these factors in the face of climate change effects seen in the high-altitude Himalayan ecosystems and the increasing anthropogenic modifications of the Himalayan landscape.
The overarching theme of research is to contribute to the conservation of the Himalayan Langur habitat by translating our research findings into actionable practices. Currently, we are focusing on human-langur and dog-langur interactions in this fragmented anthropogenic landscape.
We also aim to understand the spatial cognition of this species as they move in a heterogeneous landscape composed of agricultural fields, roads, houses, and undulating topography. Our project aims to explore the cues these animals use for navigating in this landscape, and how does the landscape shape their movement pattern. This project will also explore the cognitive abilities of this species on a multi-destination route and provide much-needed evidence from the colobine subfamily
Multidisciplinary Framework for Human-Wildlife Coexistence
This project is focused on an interdisciplinary research approach to develop a conflict-mitigation framework to facilitate long-term human-wildlife coexistence. Human population and aspirational growth is leading to forest degradation and fragmentation and this is the prime cause of wildlife habitat loss, the global decline of biodiversity, and the increase in human-wildlife conflict globally. A close examination of the anthropological, evolutionary, behavioral, and ecological aspects of the conflict is crucial to develop mitigation schemes to benefit both humans and wildlife. We propose to establish an innovative, multidisciplinary, conflict-mitigation framework at a long-term primate research site, inhabited by Himalayan langurs Semnopithecus schistaceus; this coexistence framework can be expanded and applied to other primate species in particular, but also to other wildlife, in general.