The field site was established by Andreas Koenig (more) and Carola Borries (more) from Stony Brook University, USA. Members of the IPSE group work at the site since 2005 and focus on macaque socio-ecology.
Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (PKWS, ~1600 sqkm) is part of the Western Isaan Forest Complex, a ca. 6000 sqkm network
of eight connected Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks.
The forest harbors an intact and diverse community of predators (including dholes, clouded leopards, leopards,
and tigers) and large populations of elephants and gaurs. The habitat at the field site at Huai Mai Sot (600-800m above sea level) is composed of hill evergreen forest with patches of dipterocarp forest and bamboo stands. It is accessible by a system of marked and mapped animal trails of more than 70km in length. Considering its elevation (500-1300m), latitude (16°5'-35'N), and rainfall (~1400mm/yr), primate diversity is high at Phu Khieo. Apart from one prosimian (Nycticebus coucang), one ape (Hylobates lar), and two leaf monkey species (Trachypithecus cristatus and T. phayrei) as many as four sympatric species of macaques. Macaca arctoides, M. assamensis, M. mulatta, and M. nemestrina share the same climate, predation pressure and ecological constraints live at PKWS. Thus, the situation constitutes a natural experiment and allows for powerful comparative studies testing the predictive power of the socioecological model for the evolution of female as well as male social relationships.