Utilization of home garden crops by primates and current status of human-primate interface at Galigamuwa Divisional Secretariat Division in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka

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Charmalie Anuradhie Dona Nahallage
Dahanakge Ayesha Madushani Dasanayake
Dilan Thisaru Hewamanna
Dissanayakalage Tharaka Harshani Ananda


Many humans coexist with non-human primates (NHP), and as human populations have increased so have the pressures on natural habitats. For example, deforestation results in habitat loss and food scarcity for NHPs. In response, NHPs sometimes enter human habitats in search of food, which can result in negative interactions between humans and NHPs. This study focused on human-NHP interactions in three Grama Niladhari divisions in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. We used interviewer-administered structured questionnaires to collect data from 500 randomly selected informants. The majority stated that they could not obtain sufficient harvests from home gardens for their own consumption owing to crop damage and losses caused largely by NHPs and other wild animals. This has led many people to abandon home gardening. Toque Macaques caused the most damage to crops, followed by Wild Boars, porcupines, and Purple-faced Leaf Langurs. Damage was caused to coconuts, vegetables, bananas, and yams. NHPs also caused property damage, with Toque Macaques causing more damage than langurs. People commonly used firecrackers, catapults and air rifles, and wore wooden or plastic face masks, in attempts to control crop damage by NHPs, with little success. People are of the opinion that the NHPs should be relocated to other forested areas or sterilized to control their numbers. In conclusion, to address the issues pertaining to human-primate interactions in terms of conflict due to crop utilization of primates, an integrated management plan should be developed in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders.   

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