Impact of translocation, provisioning and range restriction on a group of Macaca thibetana

  • Published source details Berman C.M. & Li J. (2002) Impact of translocation, provisioning and range restriction on a group of Macaca thibetana. International Journal of Primatology, 23, 383-397.


Researchers monitored a troop of Tibetan macaques Macaca thibetana for 6 years (1986-1991) on Mt. Huangshan, Anhui Province, China. In February 1992, the local government drove the troop about 1 km from their natural territory (comprising mostly broad-leaf evergreen forest) to an area where they could be easily viewed by tourists. Wardens provided food 4-times daily and restricted movement away from the feeding area; the troop's territory size was effectively reduced from 7.75 km² to <3 km². Soon after this, the troop began to show signs of increased rates of aggression, group splitting and infant loss. Demographic data recorded during the 6 years before and after relocation, and in an undisturbed troop, were compared.

Study sites: Three macaque groups (the original group plus two resultant groups splitting off) at Mt. Huangshan (118.2E, 30.2N, 1,045 km south of Bejing) and one unmanaged group at Mt. Juihuashan (130 km to the northwest) were studied.

Monitoring: Various demographic data were gathered, including young macaque recruitment and mortality rates of different sex/age groups. Data was collected following the 'translocation' (1993-1999) and compared with that during the 6 preceeding years (1986-1991) and with the Mt. Juihuashan group in 1999. Preliminary data concerning nutritional condition and group activities were also examined.

At Huangshan, between 1986-1991, infant mortality was <2% each year except in 1988; in 1988 mortality was about 67% and attributed to disease; mortality among older sex/age classes was very low both after and before the relocation, again except in 1988 (disease killed 17 individuals of all ages). Infant mortality was overall much higher in the 4 years following relocation: 1993 - 50%; 1994 - 89%; 1995 - 83%; 1996 - 45%.

Individuals born between 1993 and 1995 were underrepresented in the Huangshan groups versus the Juihuashan group (6% vs. 21%), but was similar after 1996 (41% vs. 38%). Low recruitment between 1993 and 1995 was due to high infant mortality rather than decreased birth rates.

Nutritional condition varied more among adults in the Huangshan groups than those on Juihuashan, suggesting that members of the former may have experienced higher levels of intragroup competition (e.g., if food was distributed in monopolizable clumps).

Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, this can be viewed at:

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust