Rim-lit rhesus macaque

Rim-lit rhesus macaque. A male rhesus macaque walks along a gnarled tree branch lit by late evening sunshine. Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.

Rim-lit rhesus macaque : About Rhesus Macaques:

The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) is an old world monkey found throughout central and Southern Asia. Thanks to their wide distribution and large population size, they are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Rhesus macaques have the largest geographic range of any primate (second only to humans) occupying a diverse range of habitats. As a result they can be found in jungles and mountain forests, grasslands and arid plains and particularly in India; urban areas. Their adaptability as a species makes them highly successful and in some areas they are so numerous they are considered a major pest.

Like many primates Rhesus macaque’s are omnivorous, eating both vegetable matter and insects and small animals. They live in socially complex and noisy troops that can sometimes include up to 200 monkeys. 

You can find out more about the Rhesus Macaque here.

About Kaziranga National Park:

Kaziranga National Park was first established in 1905 with the help of Mary Curzon, the wife of Viceroy Lord Curzon of Kedleston. As Vicereine of India, Mary held the highest official title in the Indian Empire that a woman could hold. It is said that when Mary visited the area to see rhinos she was unable to find even one and so persuaded her husband to take urgent measures to protect the vulnerable species. After the legislation was passed the Kaziranga Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2. In 1985 Kaziranga became a UNESCO world heritage and is now one of India’s most famous tourist destinations, located on the edge of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot in the state of Assam. 

Now covering 430² km, Kaziranga is dominated by dense tropical forests, marshland and vast expanses of giant elephant grass, so called because they can grow tall enough to hide even the largest animals. The Brahmaputra river that winds it way through the flood plains is the lifeblood of the area and  gives the national park its amazing biodiversity.

Kaziranga is home to the world’s largest population of Greater one-horned rhinoceros. Over 2200 rhinos inhabit the elephant grass meadows and dense forests; approximately 2/3rd of total world population. The National Park is also home to many other endemic and endangered animals such as Hoolock Gibbons; India’s only ape, Indian Elephants, Sloth Bears, Wild water buffalo and swamp deer. An increase in the tiger population every year has also meant that Kaziranga was declared as a Tiger Reserve in the 2006 and it is now purported to have the highest density of tigers anywhere in the world.

Along with the wide range of mammal species the park is also recognised as an important area for birds. Rare birds such as the ferruginous duck, lesser white-fronted goose, Baer’s pochard, adjutant storks, black-necked storks, and Asian Openbill storks migrate here from the Central Asia during the winter.


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Rim-lit rhesus macaque. A male rhesus macaque walks along a gnarled tree branch lit by late evening sunshine. Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.


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