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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Translocation of rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta as a means to reduce human-monkey conflict in Vrindaban, Uttar Pradesh, India

Published source details

Imam E., Yahya H.S.A. & Malik I. (2002) A successful mass translocation of commensal rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta in Vrindaban, India. Oryx, 36, 87-93


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove and relocate ‘problem’ animals Primate Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after trial in 1995-2001 in temple orchards in urban Vrindaban, India (1) found that rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta that were perceived as ‘problem’ animals by local residents and translocated along with other interventions, remained at their release sites for at least four years. The 600 monkeys that were translocated to eight different forest patches established resident populations, appeared healthy and showed no signs of stress. Also the time individuals from one of the translocated groups (150 individuals) spent engaged in different activities during the first three months after release was similar to activity budgets of wild groups in northern India. Authors reported that after the translocation, the residents of Vrindaban generally expressed their relief at the lessening of the ’monkey problem’. No quantitative results were provided in this study. Twelve groups (of 24–115 individuals) totalling 600 monkeys (45% of total population) were translocated to eight natural forest patches without resident monkeys in January 1997. Monkeys were monitored for a total of 300 hours by one person during the first four months and again for five days, four years after their release. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

(Summarised by JJ)

Reintroduce primates into habitat where the species is absent Primate Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after-trial in 1995–2001 in orchards in Mathura District, India found that rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta reintroduced into forest patches without resident macaques along with other interventions, remained at their release sites for at least four years. A post-translocation study in 2001 confirmed that all of the 600 monkeys captured from 12 troops and translocated to eight different forest patches, had settled, were healthy, showed no signs of stress, and behaved normally. In addition, time spent engaging in different activities during the first three months after release was similar to activity budgets of wild groups in northern India. Monkeys were only moved to habitat without resident macaques, because no health checks were conducted on the captured monkeys and to avoid competition with resident troops. Captured monkeys were translocated to natural habitat, where they were reintroduced in groups. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Translocate (capture & release) wild primates from development sites to natural habitat elsewhere Primate Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after-trial in 1995-2001 in temple orchards in Vrindaban, Mathura District, India found that rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta translocated to nearby semi-natural, fragmented forest habitat along with other interventions, remained at their release sites for at least four years. A post-translocation study in 2001 confirmed that all of the 600 monkeys captured from 12 troops (45% of the total population) and translocated to eight different forest patches, had settled down, were healthy, showed no signs of stress, and behaved normally. The activity of one of the translocated groups (150 individuals) during the first three months post-release was similar to that of wild groups in northern India. No quantitative results were provided. Release sites were administrated by Social Forestry, and were selected based on the availability of food, water, shelter, and attitude of the local people. Captured monkeys, regarded as so-called ‘problem animals’ by local residents, were relocated to non-residential areas, where they were reintroduced in groups into habitat without resident rhesus monkeys. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates in groups Primate Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after-trial in 1995-2001 in temple orchards in urban Vrindaban, Mathura District, India found that rhesus monkeys Macaca mulatta reintroduced in groups into forest patches along with other interventions remained at their release sites over four years. A post-translocation study in 2001 confirmed that all of the 600 monkeys captured from 12 troops (45% of total population) and translocated to eight different forest patches, had settled down, were healthy and behaved normally. Time spent engaging in different activities for one of the translocated groups (150 individuals) during the first three months post-release was similar to wild groups in northern India. No quantitative results were provided in this study. Attempts were made to capture as many animals as possible from a single social group whenever a troop of monkeys was encountered. Captured monkeys, which were regarded as so-called ‘problem’-animals by local residents, were translocated to non-residential, natural habitat without resident monkeys. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.