Munnar: Bonnet Macaque & Tufted Gray Langur

The Bonnet Macaque exhibits a complex system of social structure and hierarchy. Also known, as “Zati,” this species of macaque only inhabits regions of Southern India, such as the city of Munnar. Its diet consists of a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits and flowers. The Bonnet Macaque has also formed a commensal relationship established by raiding crops, houses or by humans handing over food. Behavioral patterns and gestures are easily distinguished from one another. Lip smacking and grimacing are the two most common gestures. Grimacing, for instance, displays a gesture of submission during an aggressive encounter with a more dominant individual. As a way of warning others of predators, the Bonnet Macaque possesses a system of alarm calls. Both sexes follow a similar linear hierarchy consisting of alpha and gamma males and females. Female hierarchy remains stable whereas males change. High-ranking males will compete with one another, granting first access to breeding females.


The Tufted Gray Langur is a species of Old World monkey situated exclusively in parts of Sri Lanka, Southeast India and Munnar. Sometimes referred to as “Coromandel Sacred Langur” and “Madras Gray Langur,” this monkey is characterized by a brownish gray color, short off-white beard, black eyebrows and a pointed crest meeting at a certain point. This species of primate typically inhabits both human populated areas and dry zone forests. The Tufted Gray Langur feeds on a wide variety of vegetation, including fruits, leaves and seeds. However, as food sources become scarce, these mammals consume alternative resources like bark and insects. Sexual dimorphism exists between males and females, although both sexes share similar coloration patterns. Groups of Tufted Gray Langurs, known as troops consist of 20 to 50 members. Troops usually stay within their territory and females give birth to a single offspring with a gestation period of 6 months. They communicate through whooping, grunting, barking, whistling and howling.