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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The Formosan rock macaque has a multimale-multifemale social system, with groups averaging around 45 individuals occupying partially-overlapping territories (5) (7). However, the recent decline in numbers has meant that groups are often much smaller, typically ranging between two and ten individuals, and may more closely resemble a unimale system (4) (5). While females remain in their natal group, existing within a female hierarchy, males disperse shortly after adolescence, at around five years of age (5) (7). However, relatively low-ranking females have been observed splitting from their natal group to form new troops where they may find higher status. Low-ranking sub-adult and old adult males within a troop are peripheralised by the dominant alpha male, and often form coalitions. Most challenges for the alpha-male position are made during the breeding season, when competition for access to sexually receptive females is fierce (7). The breeding season is between November and January, with births occurring from April through to June, peaking from mid-April to mid-May (5) (7). Females start to breed at between four and five years of age (7), after which they usually produce a single offspring every other year, with older females giving birth every year (5). Gestation lasts around 165 days and, in most macaques, nursing lasts about a year, with the majority of parental care provided by the mother. Young are usually completely independent after two years, although females often retain life-long associations with their mother and other female kin (5). Formosan macaques are a diurnal, ground-dwelling species, comfortable in areas with few or no trees. A variety of foods are consumed, including fruits, leaves, berries, seeds, buds, young shoots, insects and small vertebrates, and these macaques reportedly also raid crops (5).
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Description

This medium-sized, quadrupedal monkey has a soft, dark grey to brown coat, which is greyer in winter and a drabber olive-brown colour in summer (4) (5). The hairless face is salmon-pink and includes large cheek pouches that are used to carry food whilst foraging (4) (5).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to Taiwan. The main distribution rests on the central mountain range, with some local subpopulations scattered in peripheral lowland forest remnants. The extent of occurrence, estimated by the total forested area in Taiwan, was 19,501 km2. Although once thought to have once been associated with coastal areas, it is now largely confined to inland hills owing to human activity.

Introduced feral subpopulations have become established at four localities in Japan: Oshima (south of Tokyo), Nojima (south of Nagoya), Wakayama prefecture (south of Osaka, where it has hybridized with Macaca fuscata), and the Shimokita Peninsula (northern Honshu) (Fooden and Wu 2001).
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Geographic Range

Formosan rock macaques (Macaca cyclopis) are found in the mountainous terrain of northeastern and southwestern Taiwan. They may once have been associated with the sea coast but have now been largely restricted to inland hills because of human activity (Kuntz and Myers, 1969).

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

  • Kunts, R., B. Myers. 1969. A check-list of parasites and commensals reported for the Taiwan macaque. Primates, 10: 71-80.
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Historic Range:
Taiwan

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Range

The Formosan rock macaque is native to the island of Taiwan, where it primarily occupies the mountainous areas in the north-eastern and south-western parts of the island (4) (5). Although the species is thought to have once been associated with coastal areas, it is now largely confined to inland hills because of human activity (5). This macaque has also been introduced to a few small islets in Japan, where it hybridises with the Japanese macaque (M. fuscata) (6).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Formosan rock macaques are quadrupedal (Fleagle, 1988). They use cheek pouches to carry food in while foraging. The pelage is dark gray to brown in color. Tail length varies from 26 to 46 cm and body lengh ranges from 36 to 45 cm. They typically weigh 5 to 12 kg, though some adult males can be over 18 kg. The hairs are soft, a dark gray color in winter and an olive drab in summer; abdominal skin is slightly blue (Grzimek, 1988).

Range mass: 5 to 18 kg.

Range length: 36 to 45 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger

  • Fleagle, J. 1988. "Primate Adaptation and Evolution". Academic Press..
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The primary habitat of the species is broadleaved evergreen forest. It also inhabits mixed broadleaf-coniferous forest, coniferous forest and bamboo forest (Fooden and Wu 2001). The species is adaptable and, though always associated with forested areas, can be found in secondary forest and remnant forest patches, and can enter agricultural areas for food (Hai Yin Wu pers. comm. 2006). The species ranges in elevation from sea level to 3,600 m although in a survey the species was found most often in broadleaved forest at 1,000-1,500 m elevation (Lee et al. 2002).

It is terrestrial and arboreal, diurnal, and feeds on fruits, leaves, berries, seeds, insects, and small vertebrates.

Reproduction is strongly seasonal in this species. Birth occurs between February and August, with birth frequency peaking during April and June (Fooden and Wu 2001; Hsu et al. 2006). Females first give birth at 4 or 5 years of age. Annual birth rate is around 0.70 (Fooden and Wu 2001), in lowland broadleaved forest, it is reported to be 0.69 in a wild troop (Wu and Lin 1992) and 0.78 in a provisioned subpopulation (Hsu et al. 2006). Annual birth rate may be lower in troops inhabiting higher elevation (Fooden and Wu 2001).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Formosan rock macaques inhabit primarily mixed coniferous-hardwood temperate forest, as well as bamboo and grassland at elevations between 100 and 3600 m . They are also found in coastal areas. (Grzimek, 1988)

Range elevation: 100 to 3600 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

  • Grzimek, B. 1988. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Volume 2. NY: McGraw-Hill.
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Primarily found in mixed coniferous-hardwood temperate forest, as well as bamboo and grassland, at elevations between 100 and 3,600 m above sea level (5).
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Formosan rock macaques consume a wide variety of foods, including fruits, leaves, berries, seeds, insects, animal prey, buds, young shoots, and small vertebrates. These macaques reportedly raid crops (Rowe, 1996).

Animal Foods: insects

Plant Foods: leaves; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Primary Diet: omnivore

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

These animals may be important in local food webs, and in helping to disperse seeds.

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

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Predation

Humans are reported to hunt these animals for their meat. They may also fall victim to raptors. However, Clouded leopards are the primary predators of these animals

Known Predators:

  • Clouded leopards
  • Humans

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:

Formosan rock macaques emit 'scream calls' when approached by a non-group members. Group members answer this call with a sound that sounds like "kyaw-kyaw".

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:

A fear grimace is when the lips are retracted so that the teeth are shown and clenched (Estes, 1991). This display functions as an appeasement signal to reduce aggression in aggressive encounters (Estes, 1991).

Staring with an open mouth but with the teeth covered indicates aggression (Estes, 1991).

As in other macaques, it is likely that tactile communication (grooming, playing, fighting, mating) is also important. There may be some chemical communication in the form a pheromones.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

  • Estes, R. 1991. "The Behavior Guide to African Mammals". University of Califormia Press..
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Most species in the genus Macaca live to be about 30 years old in captivity. Lifespans in the wild are probably shorter. It is reasonable to assume that M. cyclopis is like other members of the genus in this respect.

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Reproduction

Most macaques are polygynous. Given the sexual dimorphism in size seen in M. cyclopis, it is reasonable to assume that this species is, also.

Mating System: polygynous

Formosan rock macaques give birth to a single offspring per pregnancy. During estrus the perineum of the female swells at the base of the tail and along the thighs.

Gestation period is about 165 days. Young weigh an average of 400 g at birth. The mating season occurs from November through January, with births occuring from April through June. The mating season coincides with the peak of fruit availability. Females 5 to 9 years old usually give birth every other year, older females give birth every year (Rowe, 1996).

In most macaques, nursing lasts for about one year. Young are typically independent after about two years, although may retain life-long associations with their mother.

Breeding interval: Females 5 to 9 years old usually give birth every other year, older females give birth every year.

Breeding season: The mating season occurs from November through January.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average gestation period: 165 days.

Average weaning age: 12 months.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous

Most parental care is provided by the mother. She grooms, nurses, protects her infant until it becomes independent. In most macaques, the period of nursing is about a year. Young are typically independent by two years of age. However, females may have relationships with their female kin for the remainder of their lives. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males disperse shortly before adolescence. There is a hierarchical dominance system among group members based upon the matriline.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); post-independence association with parents; extended period of juvenile learning; inherits maternal/paternal territory; maternal position in the dominance hierarchy affects status of young

  • Nowak, R. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Grzimek, B. 1988. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Volume 2. NY: McGraw-Hill.
  • Fleagle, J. 1988. "Primate Adaptation and Evolution". Academic Press..
  • Rowe, N. 1996. The Pictorial Guide to The Living Primates. Pogonias Press.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Hai Yin, W. & Richardson, M.

Reviewer/s
Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern as the species’ population is stable or even increasing, its extent of occurrence is greater than 20,000 km2, and conservation measures appear to be working.

History
  • 2000
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Threatened
Date Listed: 10/19/1976
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10) 
Where Listed: Entire


Population detail:

Population location: Entire
Listing status: T

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Macaca cyclopis , see its USFWS Species Profile

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Situated in a subtropical zone, Taiwan possesses a warm and moist climate and a large variety of plants and wild life. Of the world's approximately 4,500 species of mammals, Taiwan has 61. In order to protect these precious natural resources in the face of growing economic development the Taiwanese government has in recent years actively promoted concepts of, and measures for, environmental conservation which have become widely accepted by the general public. Taiwan actively participates in important international treaties and organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Macaca cyclopis once occured throughout Taiwan, but is now restricted to remote highlands by human encroachment. Macaques are killed for food, medicinal preparations, and taken as pets and for research purposes. The primary threat to their populations is habitat destruction.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1), and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).
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Population

Population
In a survey done along 37 routes (1,211.8 km in total), the estimated density was higher in broadleaved forest, and the estimated island-wide population was approximately 10,000 ± 5,000 troops (Lee et al. 2002). The local density is highly variable, depending on forest disturbance and hunting. In recent years, the species has been reported as increasing, but the reason for this is unknown and could be an artefact due to increased survey work in natural areas (Hai Yin Wu pers. comm. 2006). There has not been extensive monitoring, but the global population does not appear to be significantly declining (Hai Yin Wu pers. comm. 2006).

At one time it was found in large groups of up to 100, in recent years average group size has become much smaller (typically 2-10) owing to human pressures (M. Richardson pers. comm.).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats. However, the local populations species may be impacted by habitat loss for agriculture and development, especially in lower elevations. Also, there is some illegal hunting and non-target trapping, but not at a level to constitute an overall threat to the species. Monkey-human conflict in agricultural fields and around villages can be intense against the species and its protected status.
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Like so many primates, the Formosan rock macaque has drastically declined in numbers at the hands of their close relative, humans (8). Reports from 1989, when the Wildlife Conservation Law was enacted, state that the very survival of this species was in serious jeopardy, with at least 3,000 a year being killed for food, medicinal preparations, and taken as pets and for research (5) (8). Sadly, macaques' similarity to humans in physiology and disease susceptibility has made them a popular subject of biological, medicinal and psychological research (5). Additionally, this species was being exploited for trade of curiosities, such as ashtrays made from their skulls, sold in night markets (8). Human encroachment has also heavily impacted population numbers through habitat destruction, restricting the Formosan rock macaque primarily to remote inland highlands (5).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed as CITES Appendix II. In Taiwan it is listed as a category II (rare and valuable) protected species and is protected by Wildlife Conservation Law. The species occurs in 5 national parks and 12 nature reserves/protective areas, and 11 major wildlife habitats/refuges provide less disturbed habitats for the species.
Recent conservation measures appear to be working, with numbers believed to be on the rise; however, this increase is also contributing to the level of conflict with humans (for example crop raiding, and even a few instances of monkey attacks on people). Elsewhere, the species is becoming dependent upon food handouts (M. Richardson pers. comm.).
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Conservation

Throughout the 1990s, following the enactment of the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Formosan rock macaque was the focus of Taiwan's intensive and highly successful conservation efforts, which have significantly increased population numbers. However, the larger, rebounded population of these macaques has created some new problems in their relationship with humans. For example, farmers have begun to complain that the species is a serious crop pest and have tried strategies from dogs to firecrackers to traps to try to deal with the thieves. In addition, in areas where tourists regularly feed the macaques, people have been attacked by monkeys demanding food, and some macaques have become over-dependent on human feeding. Thus, although the growing numbers of Formosan rock macaques is a great conservation success story, the equally growing tension between humans and monkeys highlights the need for conservation management to consider the wider ecological picture, if they are to create a balanced, harmonious and sustainable relationship between these two primate species (8).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Parasites that infect M. cyclopis may be transmitted to humans, this is particularly a problem in recent years as tourism increases in the regions they inhabit and contact with humans becomes more frequent. They also are known to raid crops.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease); crop pest

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Macaques are popular zoo animals because of their active lifestyle and adaptability. They are also useful in biological, medicinal, and psychological research because of their similarity to humans in physiology and disease susceptibility. These animals may also be hunted for food.

Positive Impacts: food ; research and education

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Wikipedia

Formosan rock macaque

The Formosan rock macaque (Macaca cyclopis), Formosan rock monkey, or Taiwanese macaque, is a macaque endemic to the island of Taiwan and has been introduced to Japan. Besides humans, Formosan Rock Macaques are the only native primates living in Taiwan.

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rock macaques measure 50-60 cm and weigh 5-12 kg, generally females are smaller. Their tails are moderately long and measure 26-45 cm. This macaque is brown or gray in color. The monkey has specialized pouch-like cheeks, allowing it to temporarily hoard its food. The gathered morsels are eaten sometime later, in safe surroundings.

Life and behavior[edit]

Formosan rock macaques

Among the 22 species of the genus Macaca that are found in southern and eastern Asia as well as northwestern Africa, the Formosan macaque is endemic to the island of Taiwan (area: 36,000 km2).

Formosan rock macaques lives in mixed coniferous-hardwood temperate forest, as well as bamboo and grassland at 100-3600m (328-11,812ft). The social structure of macaques is generally characterized as often occurring as a large stable multimale-multifemale troop.[3] Formosan macaque is considered to be female-bonded which is similar to other species in the genus Macaca. Based on the study of Hsu and Lin,[3] the average overall sex ratio was approximately 1:1, and the average adult sex ratio was close to 0.53. Solitary adult males were accounted for 5% of the entire population, and they were seen interacting with social troops especially during mating season.

Rock macaques are diurnal, arboreal, and terrestrial. More often they stay in trees and less so on the ground. They rest in forest and forage in grassland. Their diet consists of fruits, tender leaves, buds, grass stems, insects, snails, and bird eggs.

Reproduction[edit]

The Formosan rock macaque gives birth to a single offspring. During estrus, the perineum of the female swells at the base of the tail, and there is also swelling along the thighs. Their mating season is from October to January. Gestation may last about five and a half months. Females give birth to babies between spring and summer. Nursing are entirely on females. Youngsters are carried in mother's arms for 2-3 months. Not until one year old, will youngsters be fully separated from their parents carrying.

Conservation[edit]

Formosan rock macaques are hunted for their meat and for the damage they do to crops. They are also hunted for the purpose of exports for medical experimental use.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 161. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Hai Yin, W. & Richardson, M. (2008). Macaca cyclopis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b Hsu, Minna J.; Lin, Jin-Fu (2001). "Troop size and structure in free-ranging Formosan Macaques (Macaca cyclopis) at Mt. Longevity, Taiwan". Zoological Studies 40 (1): 49–60. 
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