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Long-tailed macaque
Macaca fascicularis


CITES: Appendix II (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: M. fascicularis: LC (What is Red List?)
Key: LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)


Threat: Invasive Alien Species

Though there are no data available for the effects of invasive alien species on long-tailed macaque conservation, the long-tailed macaque is itself an invasive alien species causing serious damage to parts of its range where it has been introduced and populations grow unchecked due to a lack of natural predators (Poirier & Smith 1974; Crockett pers. comm.). For example, the population of long-tailed macaques established on the island of Mauritius has created serious conservation concerns for other endemic species. With no natural predators on the island, the long-tailed macaque population has grown unchecked for almost a half century (Stanley 2003). They consume seeds of native plants and help spread exotic weeds throughout the forests, changing the composition of native forests, causing them to be quickly overrun by invasive plant species. They also have directly contributed to the near extinction of several bird species on Mauritius, including the Mauritian green parrot and the pink pigeon. Long-tailed macaques destroy the nests of these birds as they move through their home ranges and cause direct mortality by eating the eggs of these critically endangered species (Stanley 2003; Temple pers. comm.).

Threat: Persecution

Though they are not currently threatened, long-tailed macaques are subject to persecution where they come into contact with humans as crop raiders. They can be serious agricultural pests, raiding gardens and eating fruits including oranges, bananas, and coconuts as well as staple crops such as taro, sweet potatoes, rice, and cassava root. This relationship has probably been going on since human agriculture began in the range of long-tailed macaques. In response, humans often shoot the monkeys and can eliminate entire local populations (Wheatley et al. 1999).

Threat: Human Disturbance

Harvesting long-tailed macaques for biomedical research was once a serious threat to survival but this practice has largely ended (Supriatna et al. 1996). A natural habitat breeding colony in Indonesia was established in the 1980s in order to harvest from semi-wild, managed populations instead of natural populations (Kyes et al. 1998).





Content last modified: January 6, 2006

Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang. Reviewed by Carolyn Crockett.

Cite this page as:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2006 January 6. Primate Factsheets: Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2020 April 4.