A growing body of research focuses on how anthropogenic factors affect the behavior and ecology of primates and their ecosystems. Infrastructural development, such as roads, is an increasingly pervasive anthropogenic impact that destroys primate habitat, affects the distribution and dispersal of primates, and facilitates human–primate interactions. At our field site in Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia, a major road bisects the habitat of the endangered moor macaque (Macaca maura). Beginning in 2015, we observed a behavioral shift by our main study group: they began spending more time along the road foraging in trash pits and waiting for provisions from vehicles. Our objective in this study was to examine how access to anthropogenic foods has affected the group’s ranging behavior by comparing ranging data collected before (2010–2011) and after the shift (2016–2017). In contrast to what we expected, home ranges were significantly larger and daily travel distance was significantly longer after the shift compared to before. As predicted, mean distance to the road decreased after the shift. These results likely reflect the irregular and spatially dispersed nature of provisioning at this site. The macaques appear to be attracted to the road because it presents opportunities to obtain palatable and energy-dense foods. Our results indicate that moor macaques are able to flexibly adjust their ranging behavior in response to anthropogenic impacts. However, given the risks of being in proximity to roads and humans, management of this emerging human–macaque interface is needed.
Riley, E.P., Shaffer, C.A., Trinidad, J.S., Morrow, K.S., Sagnotti, C., Carosi, M., et al. (2021). Roadside monkeys: anthropogenic effects on moor macaque (Macaca maura) ranging behavior in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia. PRIMATES [10.1007/s10329-021-00899-6].