IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Tonkean black macaque (Macaca tonkeana)

The Tonkean black macaque lives in the central part of Sulawesi south to Latimojong, southwest to the base of the Toraja highlands (where it interbreeds with M. maura), southeast to the lakes region of the southeastern peninsula, and northwest to the isthmus between Palu and Parigi (where it interbreeds with M. hecki) (13); it also lives in the nearby Togian Islands in Indonesia (1). The "Balantak Macaque" from the Togian Islands is almost certainly a hybrid swarm, rather than a distinct species. The macaque lives in rainforests at moderate elevations from sea level up to 2,000 m. It has strong limbs, a moderately long snout and a short, inconspicuous tail. The pelage is predominately black, with areas of lighter brown on the cheeks and rump. The body length is 42-68cm, the tail length is 3-6cm (12). The male weighs about 14.9 kg and the female about 9 kg (11). The macaque seems to spend most of its time moving around in the tree canopy (7), but also moves on the ground (12). It lives in troops of 10-30 individuals, comprising multiple sexually mature adults of both sexes (7). It is active by day. It feeds mainly on figs and other fruit, but also eats bamboo, seeds, buds, sprouts, leaves and flower-stalks, as well as insects and other invertebrates. Near farmland, it may raid crop plantations for maize, fruit and vegetables (7).

On the edges of its range, it may hybridise with the booted macaque (M. ochreata), Celebes macaque (M. maura) and Heck’s macaque (M. hecki) (10,13). It is classified as Vulnerable (Lower Risk/near threatened) CITES Appendix II, due to an continued decline estimated to be more than 30% over 3 generations (@ 40 years), due to a projected increase in oil palm, cacao and human settlement. It is common in appropriate habitat with densities of 3-5 individuals/km2. It exists in some protected areas, including: Lore Lindu National Park (2,290 km2); Morowali Nature Reserve (2,250 km2); Peg. Faruhumpenai (900 km2) and Towuti (687 km2) and Danau Matano Nature Recreation Parks (331 km2). The species is often poisoned and trapped as an agricultural pest, especially as the amount of natural habitat diminishes (1,7,10). It is also hunted for food, collected for use as pets and habitat conversion, especially due to oil palm and cacao plantations and human settlements, all of which will probably increase in the next decade (2).


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