Bandar - Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)
Common names: Hindi - Bandar; Bengali - markat
Characteristics: The hair on its crown radiate backwards from the forehead without parting. Orange-red fur on its loins and rump distinguishes it from other primates.
Habitat: Himalayas, Haryana, central India and north India.
Habits: They live in large troops close to human habitat. The Rhesus feeds mainly on the ground. Ground plants, insects and spiders are their usual food. They are good swimmers and their mating season is from October to December. Capture and exports have depopulated many areas. Macaques are good swimmers.
Size: Male: 60 cm high and weigh 7-10 kg. Female: 45 cm high and weigh 5-6 kg.
Due to their ability to adapt to a wide variety of habitats (including cities), rhesus macaque populations are stable and they are thriving in Haryana and other areas of India. Rhesus Macaque is found in the Saraswati Plantation, Morni Hills, Kalesar and in many towns and villages.
Macaques will forage for food and store it their cheek pouches. They consumes a wide variety of food including leaves, fruits, flowers, insects, grains, grass, algae, and will raid crops, gardens and garbage cans for food. Group sizes can become large for this species, often reaching into the hundreds, but the groups are rarely smaller than 15 individuals. The rhesus macaque is both terrestrial and arboreal. This is a diurnal species.
The Macaques have a multimale-multifemale social system. This species is said to have a promiscuous mating system, females have a tendency to mate with extra group males. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males will disperse shortly before adolescence, although some males do stay in their natal group for a few years into adulthood. Males tend to migrate with their maternal half brothers or with peers. There is a hierarchical system amongst group members based upon the matriline. Social grooming is used to strengthen bonds between females. Groups can split into smaller groups when their population is expanding. There is inter group dominance, meaning that one group of rhesus macaques may be dominant to another group for such things as food. Males and females are both aggressive during inter group encounters.