Sulawesi black macaque (Macaca nigra)

Sulawesi Crested Macaque

See them on their island or in their house opposite Fur, Feather & Scales - the road train goes right around their island but you can pick it up next to our main shop.

Fast facts

Status Critically endangered

Size Male head and body length: 48-60 cm. Female head and body length: 44-55 cm. Tail length: 1-3 cm

Weight Males: 5.9- 10.4 kg. Females: 3.6- 5.5 kg

Gestation 5-6 months

Young 1

Life span up to 20 years in the wild, around 30 years in captivity

What do I eat?

Macaques are omnivores. They have a varied diet and feed on up to 120 different species of plants and small animals. These macaques will mostly feed on fruits (such as figs), leaves, bulbs, roots, insects and small animals (including mice, crabs and lizards).

They will spend much of their day foraging for food. Sometimes instead of eating their food straight away, they will store it within cheek pouches which can hold the roughly same amount of food as their stomach.

Where do I live?

Sulawesi black macaques are found in tropical rainforests, and in mangrove swamp areas in the Northern Peninsula on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.


Sulawesi black macaques are very social animals - they are often found in groups ranging from 10-25 individuals, but group numbers have been known to reach around 100. They are led by dominant males who control the group and prevent any serious fighting. There is no strict breeding season for the Sulawesi black macaque, as they can breed all year around.

To show that they have come in to season, females will show off their swollen pink bottoms to attract the males within the group, in particular the dominant males. Females will give birth to a single infant  which will spend the first 4 months of its life close to its mother, being weaned before the end of its first year. Sulawesi black macaques will reach sexual maturity at 4-6 years.


The Sulawesi black macaque does not have any major predators, except for humans.

To stay safe, macaques will use their keen eye sight to look out for any danger. If they spot a threat then they will give an alarm call to the rest of the group, and will then run from the threat.


These animals face many threats in the wild - one of them is over hunting for food, as they are considered a delicacy in areas of Sulawesi. They are also hunted by farmers, as the macaques are known to raid their crops for food. Habitat loss is another major threat to these animals as there has been an increase in demand for areas to be cleared for agriculture, logging and increasing human settlements.

The Sulawesi black macaque is found within protected areas, where logging and hunting is illegal; however this is often hard to regulate and monitor. The international trade of this species is also illegal. There are currently projects in place to raise awareness of the conservation of these animals, as well as practical measures to protect the Sulawesi black macaque in its natural environment.

Did you know?

The Sulawesi black macaque is also known by many different names, including the Celebes crested macaque and the black crested macaque.

Sulawesi black macaques are often mistaken for being apes, as apes do not have tails and monkeys do. Macaques are in fact monkeys as they do have a very short tail that is often hard to see.

They maintain strong bonds within the group by grooming each other, playing and communicating through different vocalisations (such as grunts) and through facial expressions (such as lip-smacking).

Young macaques have lighter pink faces, hands and feet which then get darker as they get older.

Adult males will often ‘yawn’ to other group members; this is so they can assert dominance by showing off their large canine teeth and avoid any confrontation.


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Pre Review excitement

This year I turned the big five o. For my present from my wife (Alison)she bought me a 'Zoo Keeper for the day' gift. It is due to take place on Thursday 23rd April. To say I'm excited would be one of the biggest under statements ever. I JUST CAN'T WAIT.… Read full reviewSteve, 9th April 2015