Tibetan Macaque Facts | China Wildlife Guide
Physical DescriptionIn Asia, only large gray langurs and
BehaviorTibetan macaques form mixed-sex groups. A female will stay with her natal group for life, while adolescent males will join other troops at about 8 years of age. Tibetan macaques have an intricate, hierarchical social system, with dominant males getting better food and breeding rights. Higher-ranking males are usually larger, stronger, and newly mature. As they grow older and weaker, males get challenged by other males and often lose their dominance: the resulting violence may end in death. Studies conducted at Mount Emei and in the Huangshan Mountains of China have found that a male’s reign over a troop usually lasts only one year. When troops grow too large, about 40 or 50 members, competition for limited resources increases. Typically, low-ranking adults and juveniles will leave the troop and form their own smaller group. This event is called “fissioning,” and members of this new troop depart to find a different home range.
Females begin to mate at five years old. Gestation lasts six months before the mother gives birth to a single infant, typically in January or February. The newborn will nurse for one year and may suckle longer if the mother is not pregnant the next year.
Tibetan macaques spend the daylight hours foraging on the ground for fruit, leaves, grasses and tender shoots of bamboo. They also feed, to a lesser extent, on insects, roots, seeds
ConservationThe Tibetan macaque is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN and is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. This status is due to the destruction of the monkeys’ habitat over the last 30 years. Recently, however, there have been successful initiatives to halt deforestation. Some threats to the species have diminished,
Header Credit: Brad Josephs