Guwahati: Assam-based conservation biologist and Aaranyak’s well-known primatologist, Dr. Dilip Chetry, attended the plenary session as one of the co-speakers at the second conference of the Association of Indian Primatologists (AIP) from February 9–11 at the University of Mysore, along with Prof. Mewa Singh, a famous primatologist from India.
In this conference, the focus of the discussions was on behaviour and interactions between humans and primates, conservation and outreach activities for primates, ecology, and the evolution of primates. This conference was sponsored by Assam-based research-driven conservation organisation Aaranyak, Primate Conservation Inc., the University of Mysore, and the IUCN Primate Section on Small Apes and was hosted in Mysore, India.
In a special session of “In the Memories of Surendra Mal Mohnot,” the contribution of Prof. Surendra Mal Mohnot to the conservation of primates in Northeast India was highlighted.
Dr. Chetry, who heads the primate conservation initiatives of Aaranyak, mentioned that Prof. Mohnot was an important figure in the development of the Gibbon Conservation Centre at Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, Assam, where Aaranyak and the Assam Forest Department organised a variety of training, education, and research programmes on Hoolock gibbon in particular and primates in general.
Furthermore, Dr. Chetry emphasised the work done by Aaranyak to conserve primates in Northeast India, especially the Hoolock gibbon. Dr. Chetry also highlighted the different training programmes of Aaranyak for the capacity building of foresters and staff, taking Hoolock gibbon as the flagship species for the conservation of biodiversity.
The Association of Indian Primatologists (AIP) is a community of Indian students, researchers, conservationists, and enthusiasts keen on promoting Indian primates, primatology, and conservation initiatives to a larger audience and enabling greater cooperation between individuals and agencies working towards a common goal of primate welfare in India.
In another session, researcher Aaranyak Rumana Maheen presented her presentation under the title “An integrative approach to the study of the macaque presence and distribution in Tezu, Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, India.” She highlighted the application of molecular sampling and camera trapping to effectively map the presence and distribution of macaques in a complex habitat in Arunachal Pradesh, a press release said.