Guwahati: Scientists have discovered the presence of White-Cheeked Macaque (Macaca leucogenys) in central Arunachal Pradesh which marked a new addition to mammals of India.

In 2015, a group of Chinese scientists discover the species from the Modog region in southeastern Tibet.

The discovery was considered to be a significant breakthrough as far as primates are concerned.

White-Cheeked Macaques have white cheeks, long and thick hairs on the neck area, and a longer tail and are quite distinct from other macaques.

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Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) while collecting a few faecal samples in central Arunachal Pradesh found the presence of the White-Cheeked Macaques during DNA analysis.

The were searching for red pandas and Arunachal Macaques.

Subsequently, the scientists collected multiple pieces of evidence, laid transects and deployed a few camera traps. 

During DNA analysis from different sources, the team has confirmed the presence of the species.

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“We report White-Cheeked Macaque from West Siang about 197 km away from China. Unfortunately, White Cheeked Macaque has not been yet included in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India and therefore, the present study laid the foundation to promote field studies in Central Arunachal Pradesh to delineate distribution boundary and population size of White Cheeked Macaque in Arunachal Pradesh”, a paper authored by nine scientists from ZSI said.

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