Ethnozoological use of primates in northeastern India

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Deborah Daolagupu
Nazimur Rahman Talukdar
Parthankar Choudhury


Ethnozoological practices to cure various diseases have a long history. Communities that reside near the forest collect wild animals and their derivatives to prepare medicines and get relief from diseases. Northeastern India is home to many tribes with vast traditional ethnobiological knowledge, and there are many reports of zootherapeutic uses in the region. In an attempt to understand primate-based ethnozoologic use in the area a literature survey was carried out using different sources. The findings revealed that Hoolock hoolock was the most used species among the primates (48 %), followed by Macaca assamensis (20 %) and Macaca mulatta (10 %). Among the materials used, the flesh of primates was the most dominant (43 %), followed by the blood (20 %) and brain (14 %). This paper highlights the negative effects of ethno-medicinal uses of primates to draw the attention of conservationists and encourage conservation education to address the damage to primates in the name of health care. Government agencies are also requested to strengthen health care systems to discourage the killing of valuable primate species. 

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