Rhesus Macaque (Macaca Mulatta)
The records of the Zoological Survey of India describe the Rhesus Macaque Monkey (Macaca Mulatta) as a medium sized macaque with brighter hind quarters (orange-red hues) than the fore quarters. It is uniformly haired with a short tail, about half the total length of head and body combined, which could be 45.5 to 63.5 cms in males and 37.0 to 58.0 cm in females. The body weight of males could be 5.6 to 14.5 kg while that of females could be 3.0 to 10.7 Kg. The crown hairs are directed backwards from the brows without a median parting. The face is bare, light pink to reddish. The loins, rump and base of tail are orange-red. New born infants are dark known and almost black. The Rhesus macaque is a terrestrial, arboreal and diurnal mammal which is primarily herbaceous and drinks water from streams and rivers. It has check pouches that can temporarily store food. The IUCN red list classifies it as of least concern. It is a major source of man-animal conflict. The Rhesus macaque has a wide distribution in north, east and southeast India but is replaced by the bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) in south India.
The Rhesus macaque was on great demand for biomedical and pharmaceutical research in the past which had put a great stress on their population. There has been a total ban on the export of monkeys form India since 1978.
This group of the Rhesus macaque was filmed at a prominent national park in the harshest of summer months when the water bodies were drying. There was tremendous scarcity of water with the flora and fauna struggling to survive. Water quantity and quality are a major problem in the management of wetlands.
Acknowledgements-Dr. Yashpal Singh, Mrs. Neena Singh, Mr. Rajesh Bedi, Manoj Kumar Yadav