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Lifestyle Environment 17 Oct 2016 Langur menace haunts ...

Langur menace haunts areca growers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SACHIN MELLEGATTI
Published Oct 17, 2016, 7:23 am IST
Updated Oct 17, 2016, 7:36 am IST
The little monkeys are also seen feeding on flowers of the arecanut tree, locally known as singara and on tender nuts
Langurs are proving a nightmare for areca growers in Shivamogga
 Langurs are proving a nightmare for areca growers in Shivamogga

Shivamogga:  If elephants are raiding crops elsewhere, the common langur is proving a nightmare for areca growers in Shivamogga. The little animals often help themselves to the areca flowers and nuts, while they look on helplessly as killing them  is punishable under the law with the langurs being a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Once a shy primate, mainly confined to the upper canopy of trees, the lion-tailed macaque or langur, has now turned social thanks to deforestation and even begs for food from travellers along the Agumbe ghat.

 

The little monkeys are also seen feeding on flowers of the arecanut tree, locally known as singara and on tender nuts. They  sip the juice from the tender arecanut and throw it away, laments Mr Ramesh Hegde, president of the  Zilla Adike Belegarara Sangha, an organisation of arecanut growers.

Agumbe is particularly affected, according to Mr.N. Prakash, a professor in animal pharmacology at the Veterinary College, Shivamogga, who explains that  deforestation has distorted the food habits and behavioural patterns of the wild animals in the Malnad and the farmers are paying for it.

 

The fact that arecoline is nitonic acid-based and has a psycho-stimulant quality, could be drawing  the langurs to the arecanut plantations, in his view.
While crop loss caused by wild animals is usually compensated by the forest department,  the arecanut growers say it is refusing to pay  for damage caused by langurs as it is a semi-domesticated animal that can live both in forest and  in human habitations.

The Malnad Arecanut Marketing Cooperative Society (MAMCOS), which represents the growers, has written several letters to the forest department over the past two years seeking compensation for the crop loss caused by langurs, but has received no response, according to its managing director, Nagesh Dongre.

 

The growers, however point out that in many North Indian states, crop loss caused by the common langur is compensated.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Shimoga




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