Birth control for the long-tailed macaques of Don Chao Poo Forest, Phana, has been discussed for several years. The local council has been reluctant to take up the matter, fearing that it would make them unpopular with local people — their electorate. But as the population has soared (almost doubling in four years), the reverse has been the case. Local residents are beginning to find their property raided by more and more monkeys.
In actual fact, these raids are quite limited in frequency and location, but there is little doubt that they will become more frquent and more widespread if the population is allowed to continue growing at its current rate.
So at the end of this month, a team of veterinary surgeons and their assistants will arrive in Phana to conduct vasectomy procedures on adult and some sub-adult males. It is hoped to target up to 100 monkeys. Those who have been successfully vasectomised will be marked so that they won’t be entrapped in future.
The veterinarians were in Phana recently for a meeting hosted by OPT Phana, a sub-district council whose head offices are adjacent to the forest.
In the photo below you will see most of those who participated in the meeting.
Back row, from left to right:
Dr Pathompong (Director, Phana District Hospital), Dr Visit (Dusit Zoo), Mr Prawat, Mr Kanok (Mayor, OPT Phana), Dr Vichit (Director of Wildlife Conservation, Dept of Natural Resources, Lower Isan) and Dr Supagorn (Forestry Dept).
Front row, left to right:
Mrs Pensri (Phana Monkey Project), Mrs Suksi (Phana Municipality) and Dr Bongkotmat (Wildlife Conservation, Ubon).
Later the group went to the hospital to consider whether to use one of their rooms to carry out the operations. Here they are discussing the relative merits of the room offered by the hospital and one they had already looked at in the OPT offices.
Phana Monkey Project has undertaken to advise on the best locations for trap cages based on the home range of the 4 large troops of macaques that share residence in Don Chao Poo Forest.
A further meeting has been held to plan community cultural events that will precede the actual medical procedures. You will be able to read more about those events here nearer to the time.