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Animals 2014, 4(3), 546-561; doi:10.3390/ani4030546

Park Rangers’ Behaviors and Their Effects on Tourists and Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, China

1
Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 7390046, Japan
2
Primate Behavior and Ecology Program, Central Washington University, Ellensburg WA 98926, USA
3
Department of Anthropology, Central Washington University, Ellensburg WA 98926, USA
4
School of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, China
5
School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
6
Department of Biological Science, Central Washington University, Ellensburg WA 98926, USA
7
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
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Simple Summary

Conflict between macaques and humans is a commonly reported problem in Asian tourism. However, without understanding how macaques are managed, the establishment of an effective management design is impracticable. This study explored how monkeys were managed and tourists were regulated at the Valley of the Wild Monkeys in Mt. Huangshan, Anhui Province, China, through a field observation. Two teams of park rangers alternated monthly and managed a group of macaques. The results suggested that undesired tourists’ interactions with monkeys were not regularly intervened by park rangers, and park rangers established dominance over the monkeys by using physical threats to manage them.

Abstract

Previous studies have reported the negative impacts of tourism on nonhuman primates (NHPs) and tourists and advocated the improvement of tourism management, yet what constitutes good quality management remains unclear. We explored whether rates of macaque aggression and self-directed behaviors (SDBs) differed under the supervision of two park ranger teams at the Valley of the Wild Monkeys (VWM) in Mt. Huangshan, Anhui Province, China. The two ranger teams provisioned and managed a group of macaques on an alternating monthly basis. Monkey, tourist and ranger behaviors were collected from August 16–September 30, 2012. Macaque aggression and SDB rates did not differ significantly under the management of the two teams. Overall, there was little intervention in tourist-macaque interactions by park rangers, and even when rangers discouraged tourists’ undesirable behaviors, tourist interactions with monkeys persisted. Furthermore, only one or sometimes two park rangers managed monkeys and tourists, and rangers established dominance over the monkeys to control them. In order to effectively manage tourists and monkeys by a single park ranger, we recommend that rangers: (1) prohibit tourists from feeding; (2) move around the viewing platform more frequently; and (3) limit the number of tourists each visiting session. View Full-Text
Keywords: conservation; ethnoprimatology; human-macaque interactions; macaque tourism; monkey park; park ranger; wildlife management; wildlife tourism conservation; ethnoprimatology; human-macaque interactions; macaque tourism; monkey park; park ranger; wildlife management; wildlife tourism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Usui, R.; Sheeran, L.K.; Li, J.-H.; Sun, L.; Wang, X.; Pritchard, A.J.; DuVall-Lash, A.S.; Wagner, R.S. Park Rangers’ Behaviors and Their Effects on Tourists and Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, China. Animals 2014, 4, 546-561.

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