Monday, March 15, 2010

The Formosan macaque

The Formosan rock macaque (Macaca cyclopis) is Taiwan's only monkey species. It isn't difficult to find. An estimated 250,000 macaques roam the foothills and mountains; troupes vary in size from around 20 to 50 or more individuals. Females outnumber males but the ratio is usually less than two to one. These creatures, which weigh between five and 18kg and measure 35 to 45cm long (body only; the tail is another 30-odd cm) prefer mixed forest to bamboo or grasslands.

Occasionally they're hunted for meat. Many farmers consider macaques a pest because they steal fruit, sweet potatoes and other foods. In captivity - some people keep them as pets - they live up to 30 years.

The photo here was taken by Rich J. Matheson. More photos and information can be found here.

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