The Animal Facts Editorial Team
June 3, 2023 9:28 pm
Chester Zoo, Chester, The United KIngdom
Conservationists at Chester Zoo are celebrating the birth of a Sulawesi crested macaque as part of their efforts to conserve this critically endangered species. Among the most endangered primates on Earth just 5,000 of these primates remain in the wilds of Indonesia.
Mum Rumple and dad Mamassa welcomed their infant in to the world on May 16 2023. At present the gender of the infant is yet to be determined and as a result it has not been named.
Mark Brayshaw, Head of Mammals at the zoo said: “Sulawesi crested macaques are highly sociable animals that live in large groups, and so the new baby is currently being passed around by mum Rumple to several other females, who are all sharing parenting duties, which is great to see.
Numbers of the Sulawesi crested macaque have dropped by 80% over the past 30 years. A range of threats including deforestation, illegal logging and the expansion of farming land, as well as hunting and the illegal pet trade are contributing to this decline. Each birth at conservation zoos such as Chester are helping to restore the populations of this species.
“Every birth is a step forward for the international conservation breeding programme that’s working to safeguard the future of this critically endangered species. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about their behaviour, biology and social structures, which all helps to inform the efforts to protect the species globally," added Brayshaw.
“These charismatic monkeys face a plethora of threats in wild. While illegal logging has seen their forest home disappear around them, they’re also targets for poachers. In their homeland, macaques are considered a local delicacy and are often the food choice for special occasions such as weddings. That’s why our conservationists have provided support to the local communities, while also investigating the main causes of deforestation, which all helps to protect the incredible diversity of animals living on the island of Sulawesi.”
Image: © Chester Zoo
In 2011 a Sulawesi crested macaque used a photographers camera to take its own selfie. Over several years a copyright battle played out before it was decided that a non-human being is not able to hold copyright and the photos would be released in to the public domain.
Image: © Chester Zoo
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