Macaca nigra are Critically Endangered and face high risk of extinction; populations have declined by over 80% in under 40 years due to ubiquitous threats of habitat loss and fragmentation, but also from the bushmeat trade. Monkey is considered a delicacy with the majority of hunting for ceremonial food rather than subsistence. Wildlife consumption is a popular tradition which has grown in parallel to human population expansion and is thus identified as the primary threat to the species' survival.
These monkeys are an important flagship species. As with all primates and most large mammals, they are also integral to ecosystem function, stabilizing insect and pest species and playing a key role in forest regeneration through seed dispersal.
Although often mistaken as being tailless, the macaques have very short, hairless tails at around 20mm. Characterised by their distinctive crest of 'punk' hair, entirely black face and body coloration and bright pink, heart-shaped bottom, these monkeys, known as Yaki in the local dialect, are a striking and iconic species.
Selamatkan Yaki is working with SOS funding to help protect these monkeys through an integrated conservation programme.
Activities began with the establishment of a collaborative team representing the main stakeholders working in the Tangkoko area of northern Sulawesi. By evaluating current protection, working with patrols, providing equipment and techniques, facilitating local and regional dialogue, monitoring illegal activities and initiating sustainable ecotourism, it is proposed that management of this protected area can be brought to a higher standard. With a wealth of other species dependent on the same habitat, protecting Tangkoko Nature Reserve will ensure the survival of the impressive biodiversity of this unique area.
Watch and share a short slideshow of Macaca nigra behaviour by SOS photographer Michel Gunther below:
Throughout the implementation of this project, the end results of the proposed activities will culminate in progression towards three central outcomes:
First the 50% reduction in Macaca nigra injuries and mortality due to illegal activities in Tangkoko by 2015.
Secondly a 50% reduction in human- Macaca nigra conflict frequency through community-based mitigation and adoption of eco-tourism principles by 2015.
Thirdly a 50% increase in effectiveness of protected area management scores for long-term viability of the Macaca nigra population and other key biodiversity targets by 2015.