Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sulawesi Crested Macaque: Photo essay

Sulawesi Crested Macaque (Macaca nigra)

The taxonomy of Macaques is quite complex & dynamic. Macaca nigra has recently been given full species status, despite a zone of hybridization being known. It is basically confined to extreme north-east Sulawesi, inside protected areas. Here it is quite common & large troops of up to 80 animals may be encountered, usually on the ground, patrolling like miniature Gorillas!

Males often fight to assert dominance. They have formidable teeth & serious injury sometimes occurs. However, once dominance over other males has been asserted, loud calling by the most dominant males keeps the peace. 

This species is regarded as being critically endangered, having a small home range, being regularly hunted by local people & the forest habitat being illegally logged. Even inside national parks protection leaves a lot to be desired. Its continued existence is uncertain. 

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