Impact of anthropogenic factors on affiliative behaviors among bonnet macaques

Krishna N. Balasubramaniam, Pascal R. Marty, Małgorzata E. Arlet, Brianne A. Beisner, Stefano S.K. Kaburu, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah, Brenda McCowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: In primates, allogrooming and other affiliative behaviors confer many benefits and may be influenced by many socioecological factors. Of these, the impact of anthropogenic factors remain relatively understudied. Here we ask whether interactions with humans decreased macaques' affiliative behaviors by imposing time-constraints, or increased these behaviors on account of more free-/available-time due to macaques' consumption of high-energy human foods. Materials and methods: In Southern India, we collected data on human–macaque and macaque–macaque interactions using focal-animal sampling on two groups of semi-urban bonnet macaques for 11 months. For each macaque within each climatic season, we calculated frequencies of human–macaque interactions, rates of monitoring human activity and foraging on anthropogenic food, dominance ranks, grooming duration, number of unique grooming partners, and frequencies of other affiliative interactions. Results: We found strong evidence for time-constraints on grooming. Macaques that monitored humans more groomed for shorter durations and groomed fewer partners, independent of their group membership, sex, dominance rank, and season. However, monitoring humans had no impact on other affiliative interactions. We found no evidence for the free-time hypothesis: foraging on anthropogenic food was unrelated to grooming and other affiliation. Discussion: Our results are consistent with recent findings on other urban-dwelling species/populations. Macaques in such environments may be especially reliant on other forms of affiliation that are of short duration (e.g., coalitionary support, lip-smacking) and unaffected by time-constraints. We stress on the importance of evaluating human impact on inter-individual differences in primate/wildlife behavior for conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • allogrooming
  • anthropogenic factors
  • bonnet macaques
  • human–macaque interactions
  • inter-individual differences
  • time-budgets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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