An adult female Melanistic Rhesus Macaque (Macaca Mulatta) was sighted for the first time in the Manas National Park.

The adult female Melanistic Rhesus Macaque was sighted during an anti-snare walk by a team of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) jointly with the forest department of Assam on March 18, 2021 in the First Addition to Manas National Park.

This phenomenon is rare in the wild population and photographic evidence has been recorded for the first time.

“I was surprised when I saw for the first time a Melanistic Rhesus Macaque at Manas National Park. I communicated with many renowned primatologists for further information. However, there was no photographic evidence and published article on Melanistic Rhesus Macaque,” said Sanatan Deka of WTI.

Sanatan Deka was accompanied by biologist Asish Immanuel Baglary, field assistant Tiken Ray and Pankaj Mandal, a casual forest staff member of Manas National Park.

Also read: Black-necked crane spotted in Assam’s Manas National Park

The First Addition to Manas National Park covering 350 km was declared in August 2016.

The area is adjacent to Manas National Park towards west along the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan on the north.

The national park is rich in floral and faunal biodiversity with charismatic natural beauty.

Deka said in February 2021, a pair of ‘Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) was photographed by him near Panbari Range of the Manas National Park.

The bird was also recorded for the first time in Manas.

WTI has been working with forest department, Bodoland Territorial Region (earlier BTC) and local communities for last over 17 years to retain the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of Manas, bring the old heritage back and secure the entire landscape by envisioning Greater Manas Conservation landscape.

Rinoy Basumatary

Rinoy Basumatary is Northeast Now Correspondent in Kokrajhar. He can be reached at: rinoymasscom@gmail.com