The bonnet macaque Macaca radiata, endemic to peninsular India, is typically ignored in conservation initiatives as it is considered a common species, ubiquitously present across its distribution. Recent studies in southern India, however, report drastic declines in its populations. From March to May, 2012, we carried out a study to investigate its conservation status at the northern end of its range, in the state of Goa on the western coast of India. We recorded bonnet macaques in less than 40% of the locations we visited where they had previously been reported, and found that local residents living in close association with bonnet macaque populations were largely intolerant of the species' presence. Surveys and studies to monitor the population dynamics of such ‘common’ species as the bonnet macaque are urgently needed so that we can be better informed about their actual conservation status.
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Vol. 2013 • No. 27