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Monkey Feeding Project, Lopburi
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Lopburi is a province in the central region of Thailand , located approximately 154 kilometers north of Bangkok . Lopburi is one of several provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical artifacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered. Another unique characteristic of Lopburi is monkeys. Long-tailed macaques were residents of Lopburi long before human settlement, and currently inhabit the old quarter in large numbers. This sustained coexistence between humans and monkeys has caused the city to become known as the 'land of monkeys' amongst tourists.

In the past, Lopburi was a forested region and provided sufficient habitat for the monkey population. Human settlement and development, however, caused a significant loss of habitat. Consequently, the human and monkey populations of Lopburi are facing increasing conflict over living space and food resources.

There are currently three groups of macaques living in three separate areas, San Phra Kan , Phra Prang Sam Yot, and School. There is not enough food to sustain the monkey population, so they resort to stealing from humans, searching for leftover food, and scavenging through bins. The monkeys enter houses or shops to steal food, which often results in damaged property. By going through the bins, they create a cluttered and dirty environment in the streets of Lopburi. The macaque population also suffers from car accidents, electrocution incidents from climbing power lines, and injury caused by fights between monkeys.

In an attempt to reduce these increasing problems between humans and monkeys, WARF has set up a program to provide food provisions to the macaques, called the "Monkey Feeding Hut". Everyday WARF employees prepare food and bring it to the location at the same time, between 10.00 and 14.00. The objective in doing this is to teach the monkeys when and where to expect food everyday, and to try and minimize the negative effects they have on the community by providing adequate food for the population.

WARF hopes to expand this program to involve more international and Thai volunteers to help with food preparation and data collection. The number of monkeys coming to feed each day will be recorded, and used to verify the daily food quantities. A population survey needs to be done to determine the approximate number of macaques that are living in Lopburi and relying on the food provided by WARF. Estimates need to be made for the future to establish necessary food provisions and methods for population control. The population's individuals should be categorized and monitored, which can be done using photographs when they come to feed. WARF would eventually like to concentrate the population to certain areas within Lopburi to reduce the conflict between humans and monkeys in the future.



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