Title : The Assam Macaque Previous | Next
The Assam Macaque (Macaca assamensis) is a diurnal primate that lives in Southeast Asia, and can be found in India, Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, and southern China. It is yellowish to dark brown in color and has a hairless face. The color of the face is red in case of adults. They are 50 to 73 cm in length and their tail, about 1/3rd of the body, is 19 to 38 cm long. Males, weighing around 10 to 14.5 kg, are heavier than females (8 to 12 kg). They have been recently seen in some areas as a declining population, however numbers are still high. Unfortunately the Assam Macaque is listed as near-threatened due to hunting and poaching and they are estimated to have just 300 left in Nepal.
It is an omnivorous animal that feeds on both vegetation, and on meat - being the meat of insects and other invertebrates.
Highly gregarious creatures, Hill Monkeys of India prefer to live in groups. The group usually consists of both males as well as females, with the number of members ranging from 10 to 50. They spend their time either on the ground or in the trees. As a diurnal animal, they are much like us in that during the day they are active, doing what they do, and at night they sleep.
As far as their natural habitat is concerned, Assam macaques prefer mountain, evergreen, bamboo and deciduous dry forest of India, at an altitude ranging from 300 m to 3500 m.
The gestation period lasts for 165 days. Assamese Macaque gives birth to single offspring which weighs around 400 g at birth.
Assam Macaque is classified as vulnerable by the 2000 IUCN Red list. Habitat destruction has declined the population of the Assam Macaque in the north eastern region of India. They are also haunted by the local tribesmen for food. It has been hunted in the Himalayan regions of North Bengal, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh where it invades crop fields frequently. The Assamese macaque is listed under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.