BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE WEIRDEST PRIMATE SPECIES
#10 CRESTED BLACK MACAQUE
Also known the BLACK CRESTED MACAQUE, CELEBES CRESTED MACAQUE, CELEBES BLACK MACAQUE, CELEBES MACAQUE, SULAWESI BLACK MACAQUE, and SULAWESE MACAQUE
Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.
Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.
Crested black macaques are found only in Indonesia, restricted to the northeastern-most peninsula of Sulawesi island (formerly known as Celebes). Historically, they had also lived on the island of Pulau Lembeh, but they have since been eradicated. A secondary population, introduced by humans in 1867, lives 345 miles from Sulawesi on Pulau Bacan, in Indonesia’s Maluki islands.
- 70% of their diet is fruit from 150 fruit tree species
- Food not immediately eaten is stored in cheek pouches for a later snack
- Mostly terrestrial, they overnight in trees for safety
- In 2011, a “selfie” snapped by a female crested black macaque on a photographer’s staged camera went viral, resulting in a 2-year lawsuit over copyright issues. An agreement was ultimately reached in which the owner of the camera, David Slater, will donate 25% of proceeds from sales or usage of the now-famous “monkey selfie” to charities in Indonesia that protect crested macaques.
The species has suffered a 90% decline over the past 30 years. Hunting is the greatest threat. The flesh of crested black macaques is considered a delicacy and sold through the bushmeat trade. Others are victims of the live animal trade. All are vulnerable to habitat loss from encroaching human settlements and from environmental plunder, including the extensive and illegal mining for gold, using mercury, within the crested black macaques’ habitat.
- Crested black macaques are extremely intelligent and inquisitive to the point of being unwittingly destructive. Their needs cannot be adequately met or replicated in human living conditions.
- Like all macaques, they are tough and will fight for what they want. This could result in harm to human caregivers.
- To become pets, baby primates are stolen from their mothers. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- When taken from the wild, their mothers are killed to capture the baby.
- Primates are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- Caged primates are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches. Some die as a result of their captivity.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping primates and endangered species are pets.
- Crested black macaques belong with other crested black macaques in the tropical rainforests of Sulawesi, Indonesia. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.