The Black Macaques Stunning Recovery!

Great news for primate lovers! The number of the critically endangered Sulawesi black macaques is on the mend. Where as fifteen years ago the declining numbers of these majestic animals led experts to believe in their imminent extinction their rebound in numbers serves as an example of the hope that we have for other conservation efforts.

  • The biggest cause for the original decline in black macaques was the vast levels of habitat destruction that were going on in their homes.
  • In twelve years the number of black macaques in a square kilometer of North Sulawesi’s Tangkok Nature Reserve went from 32.4 to 61.5!
  • The number of groups per square kilometer rose from 3.6 to 3.9 in just 6 years, and to 4.3 in just another 6 years!
  • “Somewhere over the last 10 years the trend has started to turn. We’re seeing the population in the balance now, but without the sustained efforts by local and international groups working in the reserve and the support and involvement of the local people, the macaques will likely face further decline.” –Randall Kyes, University of Washington.
  • A large part of this comeback is due to the tourists that come to see these adorable primates in their natural environment.
  • Even with this giant turn around though the number of black macaques are still radically less than what they were before, with nearly 238 less individuals per kilometer and six less groups per kilometer than what they were 33 years ago.
  • Remember to treat your environment with respect kids so that you to may be able to see these unique faces peeking back at you one day in the forest!
Black macaque in Tangkoko Nature Reserve. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Want to learn more? Read the full story here – Photos: Population of critically-endangered black macaque on rebound

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