The critically endangered Sulawesi macaque is an extremely intelligent and social animal, often found in the wild in groups of around 25 - 30.

You may think that sounds like a lot, but before their numbers dramatically declined they were often seen in groups of up to 100 individuals!

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.

Visit the Tangkoko Reserve in Islands and you can observe the body language and many different behaviours of the macaque. They have obvious individual personalities which can be seen in facial expressions.

You might see our adult males yawn – but this isn't actually a sign of tiredness, it's to display their impressive large teeth in order to assert dominance and avoid conflict. The groups are often led by a dominant male who oversees the rest and prevents serious fights from developing.

In the wild, over the past 30 years it is believed that the populations have decreased by more than 80% due to habitat loss, hunting and illegal wildlife trade. 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 illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to many species across South East Asia – discover more on Act for Wildlife here.

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Interesting facts

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Where they live: Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Habitat: Rainforest

Size: Up to 60cm tall

Weight: Up to 10kg

Threats: Deforestations and hunting

Scientific Name: Macaca nigra