Observe the macaques at the Tangkoko Reserve

If you haven’t already spotted the Sulawesi macaques in Monsoon Forest, then there’s another chance to see them at the Tangkoko Reserve

Tangkoko Reserve sign in Islands

Like many of the islands in Indonesia, Sulawesi is an island rich in unique wildlife – home to hundreds of animals and plants that can only be found on Sulawesi.

One animal that can only be found on this island is the Sulawesi crested macaque. This monkey is an extremely intelligent and social. Spend some time observing the body language and many different behaviours of the macaque. They have obvious individual personalities which can be seen in their facial expressions.

Sulawesi macaque in Islands

The macaque is one of the most affectionate monkeys on the planet; individuals maintain relationships by grooming one another, they communicate with grunts and if you spot them smacking their lips this is a greeting sign. Adult males tend to ‘yawn’ – but don’t be fooled, this is not a sign of tiredness; this is to display their impressive large teeth in order to assert dominance and avoid conflict. 

Since moving into their new habitat on the island of Sulawesi, the family of macaques have settled in well.

Sulawesi macaque in Islands

Sulawesi macaque in Islands

A new male was carefully introduced to the group of females and it didn’t take long for him to work his magic! Just eight months later we were celebrating with the arrival of the first Sulawesi macaque to be born on Islands! And only a month after that wonderful news, we were celebrating the arrival of another macaque birth.

Sulawesi macaque in Islands

In the wild, over the past 30 years it is believed that the populations have decreased by more than 80% due to habitat loss and hunting. There are thought to be around 5000 macaques left in the world, 2000 of which live in the tropical rainforest in north Sulawesi. Making it a particularly important region for conservation!

The hunting of macaques for bush meat is a major threat to this species; their meat is considered a delicacy and is especially sought after for celebrations (weddings, funerals, communions). They can be bought illegally in local markets as bush meat and pets. 

The illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to many species across South East Asia – discover more here.

We’re working with the local people living in Sulawesi and providing support to help save the forests and the diverse animal species living within them. Find out more about the work we’re doing to help protect this critically endangered species, on our Act for Wildlife website here.