Sulawesi/Celebes Macaque

Sulawesi/Celebes Macaque    Macaca nigra

Type of Animal:
Old World Monkey

Rainforest, montane forest, forest clearings, rocky areas, agricultural areas

Sulawesi & neighboring islands

Black w/ prominent cheeks & “mohawk.” Males larger than females. Very small tails. Pink rump on females swell up when in heat.

Fruits, leaves, buds, seeds, fungi, frogs, small lizards, roots, sprouts, insects, eggs, small birds, berries, grains, veggies

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers

Usually found in troops of a dominant male, 8-16 females & their offspring, along w/ 1-3 subordinate males.

Additional Info:


Male-19-22 lbs
Female-15 lbs
Young-5 lbs

5.8 months

Male- 1.7-1.87 ft
Female- 1.46-1.87 ft

Body Length:
Male- 1.64-1.87 ft
Female- 1.47-1.8 ft

Life Span: 
18-20 years in wild, up to 25 years in captivity

Tail Length:
0.72 in

Main predators are pythons & clouded leopards.

Endangered due to habitat loss, logging/deforestation, pet trade, persecution as crop pests, mining, disease, & hunting for meat.

Sexually mature at 3-4 years old.

They’re spend more than 60% of time on ground, mostly using trees for sleeping/foraging.

They’re one of the smaller macaque species.

Fights between alpha males of different troops sometimes result in death.

Many local residents consider macaque meat a delicacy.

Due to diet, they play important role as seed dispersers.

They can store food in cheek pouches.

Locally known as yaki or wolai.

Macaca Nigra Project headquartered in Tangkoko Reserve established in 2006 promoting conservation of this species.

Males yawn to show dominance, grimacing/lip-smacking shows submission/satisfaction. Individuals make loud, bird-like calls, which may be used to resolve conflicts, warn others away, or show dominance.

Fun Fact(s):
Sometimes called a “black ape”, it is a monkey since it has a tail. Other names are Celebes crested macaque & Sulawesi crested macaque due to noticeable crest.

Like other monkeys, they don’t make good pets. Can be fierce if cornered using sharp canine teeth.

They spend 60% of their day foraging.

This species was involved in monkey selfie copyright dispute in 2014, when in 2011, 7 year old male named Naruto snapped several photos of himself using British nature photographer David Slater’s camera. Slater objected to Wikimedia Commons & blog Techdirt hosting his images. A year later, PETA sued Slater & self-publishing company Blurb on Naruto’s behalf. Court settled in January 2016 & said non-human animals couldn’t own copyright. PETA filed notice of appeal in March 2016 & in September 2017, PETA & Slater reached out-of-court agreement in which Slater donates 25% of proceeds from sales/usage of famous selfies to Indonesian charities protecting this species.

Often show little fear of humans.

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