Macaca sinica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cercopithecidae

Scientific Name: Macaca sinica (Linneaus, 1771)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Toque Macaque
French Macaque Couronné, Macaque Toque
Spanish Macaca De Sri Lanka
Macaca audeberti (Reichenbach, 1862)
Macaca inaurea Pocock, 1931
Macaca longicaudata Deraniyagala, 1965
Macaca pileatus (Ogilby, 1838)
Taxonomic Notes: Aside from the two previously recognized forms, a third subspecies, M. s. opisthomelas, is also now also recognized by primate field biologists in Sri Lanka, which is assessed separately here. There is some inter-gradation between the three subspecies (Groves 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Dittus, W., Watson, A. & Molur, S.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Although a widely distributed species, the population is inferred to have declined by more than 50% in the last 40 years (approximately 3 generations) due to habitat loss at an equal or slightly higher rate. The species is also threatened from persecution, and from exploitation for the pet industry.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species as a whole is endemic to Sri Lanka. The subspecies M. s. sinica is found in the north and east of the island, M. s. aurifrons in the south-west, and M. s. opisthomelas in the central part. The species and the subspecies are very fragmented in their distribution, with the wet zone form, M. s. opisthomelas being highly restricted to less than 500 km2 in extent of occurrence and less than 100 km2 in area of occupancy (Molur et al. 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Studies on M. s. aurifrons suggest that the animals live in smaller troops as forests become increasingly disturbed in the wet zone, and the home range becomes much wider.

Very little is known about the population of M. s. opisthomelas, though some studies exist for M. s. sinica (Molur et al. 2003). M. s. sinica has been affected in the past by stochastic events.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in a variety of forest types (Molur et al. 2003) at all altitudes up to about 2,100 m (Corbet and Hill 1992). M. s. aurifrons is found in lowland and midland tropical rainforest and wet zone lowland forests, M. s. opisthomelas in montane tropical rainforest, and M. s. sinica in dry evergreen forest near water (Molur et al. 2003). It is mainly arboreal and diurnal (Molur et al. 2003). It is frugivorous, but also consumes flowers and insects, and has been known to raid crops and garbage dumps (Molur et al. 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The chief threat to this species is habitat loss owing to the encroachment of plantations, and fuel wood collection. Other threats include shooting, snaring and poisoning of the animals, as they are considered to be crop pests (Molur et al. 2003).

According to government data, during one 42-year period (1956-1993), the country lost 50% of its forest cover and more than 50% if the last 10 years (1994-2003) are included. There is a 1:1 relationship between loss of critical habitat and population number. Therefore, the species is reduced numerically minimally by 50% (Molur et al. 2003). Much of the original forested habitat of M. s. aurifrons in the southwest rainforest areas has been converted to agriculture, home gardens and plantations. These habitats are inimical to macaque survival because the animals are not tolerated by humans (Molur et al. 2003). In addition, 80% of hill country forests were lost to tea plantations during the 19th century. M. s. opisthomelas has been reduced numerically by >80% over 200 years. This trend is continuing as high elevation natural forests are being converted to agriculture (vegetable plots and dairy pasture) (Molur et al. 2003) The Mahaweli Development Scheme has destroyed much dry-zone forest habitat of M. s. sinica (Molur et al. 2003).

M. s. aurifrons and M. s. sinica are kept as pets, which is a threat in the dry zone (Nekaris pers. comm.). The animals are increasingly being used as target practice by the Sri Lankan and Tamil armies (Santiapillai and Wijeymohan 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although protected internationally under CITES Appendix II, this is the only endemic species not protected by law in Sri Lanka (Molur et al. 2003).

M. s. sinica and M. s. aurifrons are known to occur in numerous protected areas, including: Attidiya-Belanwila Sanctuary, Buddaragala Sanctuary, Dombagaskande Forest Reserve, Elehara Forest Reserve, Flood Plains National Park, Gal Oya National Park, Kanthale Naval Sanctuary, Kaudulla National Park, Kitulgala Sanctuary, Kurulukelle Sanctuary, Madura Oya National Park, Menikdena Archaelogical Reserve, Minneriya-Giritale National Park, Moragaswewa National Park, Muthurajawela S. Polonnaruwa Sanctuary, Remmalakanda Forest Reserve, Rendenigala Sanctuary, Ritigala Nature Reserve, Ruhuna National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sirigiriya Sanctuary, Somawathie National Park, Thangamalai Sanctuary, Udawalawe National Park, Udawattekele Sanctuary, Wasgamuwa National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Yala National Park (Sri Lanka). M. s. opisthomelas is not found in any protected areas, though it formerly occurred in Horton Plains National Park.

Citation: Dittus, W., Watson, A. & Molur, S. 2008. Macaca sinica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T12560A3358720. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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