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Sulawesi crested macaque

Project overview

What? Sulawesi crested macaque (Macaca nigra)

Why? The Sulawesi crested macaque is critically endangered due to both habitat loss and hunting

How? Establishing conservation projects in Sulawesi and managing the breeding programme across more than 20 European zoos

Where? Sulawesi, Indonesia

When? 2007–2023

Sulawesi Crested Macaque group

Species management

Staff at Paignton Zoo have managed the European Endangered Species Programme for the Sulawesi crested macaque since 2002. This involves monitoring all of the macaques in European zoos, providing guidance on husbandry and welfare, and making sure that this ex-situ population is genetically robust. We also have a troop of macaques at Paignton Zoo.

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Sulawesi Crested Black Macaque parent

Selamatkan Yaki

In 2007, Wild Planet Trust set up Selamatkan Yaki, a conservation organisation in the macaque’s native Sulawesi, Indonesia. The name ‘Selamaktan Yaki’ means ‘save the Sulawesi crested macaque’ in Indonesian, and the organisation has gone from strength to strength supporting macaques in their natural habitat.

The team at Selamatkan Yaki, also survey and monitor the wild macaques, using this information to help develop effective strategies to protect the remaining habitat.

Selamaktan Yaki now runs independently of Wild Planet Trust and continues to show how programmes that consider both humans and wildlife can make big differences.

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Raising awareness

Selamatkan Yaki led on a Species Action Plan that was adopted by the Indonesian Government and successfully lobbied for the Sulawesi crested macaque to be listed as a national priority species. In addition, the organisation helped to create widespread recognition for the macaques as a flagship species through Yaki Pride campaigns and media activity.

Sulawesi Crested Macaque 2

Changing attitudes

The organisation has chosen to tackle the dangers faced by the macaques by focusing on working with the communities that share the macaques’ natural habitat, encouraging them to live with nature.

This includes establishing long-term wild meat market surveys, as well as creating five Community Forest Conservation Forums to involve local people in the protection of the species. The programme also established a range of hydroponics, permaculture and sugar palm livelihood schemes to offer alternative ways to earn money that don’t involve habitat destruction or hunting macaques for meat.