IUCN Red List status:

Critically Endangered

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

The 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. They have obvious individual personalities which can be seen in their facial expressions, and if you spot them smacking their lips this is a greeting sign.

These primates are promiscuous, with males and females mating multiple times with multiple partners. Their young reach maturity in three to four years with females reaching maturity quicker than males.

In the last 40 years, Sulawesi macaque populations have decreased by more than 80%.
As few as 5000 Sulawesi crested macaques are left in their natural habitat.

The species is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species largely because their habitat is disappearing due to illegal logging.

They are the most endangered of the seven macaque species that live in rainforests on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. They are also targets for poachers and are over-hunted for food as, in their homeland, macaques are considered a local delicacy and are served up on special occasions such as weddings. As a result, their wild numbers are believed to have plummeted by around 80% in the last 30 years.

Johanna Rode-Margono, our South East Asia conservation field programme officer, says:

“It’s important to us that our new Islands zone – and the amazing species living in it – helps us to throw a spotlight on the conservation work that we’re doing out in the field to try and protect some of South East Asia’s most endangered animals. We are working with the local people living in Sulawesi and providing support to help save the forests and the diverse animal species living there.”


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