Stump-tailed macaque

Northeast India is a biodiversity hotspot, with a diverse array of animal species residing in its lush forests and grasslands. The region is home to several charismatic megafauna, including the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephant, and Bengal tiger. Apart from these, the region also has numerous species of primates, such as the Hoolock gibbon and Assamese macaque, along with several species of deer, wild boar, and other herbivores. The Brahmaputra River and its tributaries support several species of river dolphins and otters, while the forests harbor several species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. However, habitat destruction, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts are some of the major threats to the biodiversity of Northeast India.

Primate Biodiversity of North East India 

Northeast India is a region of rich primate biodiversity, with several species of primates found in its lush forests. The Hoolock gibbon, a charismatic and endangered primate species, is found in the forests of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. Another species of gibbon, the eastern black crested gibbon, is found in the forests of Nagaland and Mizoram. The region also has several species of macaques, including the Assamese macaque, capped langur, and northern pig-tailed macaque. The western hoolock gibbon, the only ape species found in India, is also found in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh. The forests of the region also harbor several species of lorises, including the Bengal slow loris and pygmy slow loris. However, habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting for bushmeat, and pet trade are major threats to the primate populations of Northeast India. Conservation efforts, such as protected areas and community-based conservation programs, are crucial to ensure the survival of these primates and their habitats.

Stump-tailed macaque

Sl NoCharacteristicsDetails
1Common NameStump-tailed macaque
2Scientific NameMacaca arctoides
3Length40-60 cm (16-24 in)
4ColourDark brown or black with a pale underside
5Height / girth (For animals and birds – height, for fishes / reptiles – girth of the body)35-55 cm (14-22 in)
6Tail length (if it’s a mammal)5-10 cm (2-4 in)
7Height till shoulder (if it’s a mammal)30-50 cm (12-20 in)
8Average weight4-8 kg (8.8-17.6 lbs)
9Food habitsOmnivorous, feeding on fruits, insects, and small animals
10HabitatSoutheast Asia, found in forests and mountainous regions
11Any interesting facts about themStump-tailed macaques are known for their unusual vocalizations, including a loud, barking call that is used to communicate with other members of their group. They are also known for their intelligence and ability to use tools, such as using rocks to crack open nuts. Stump-tailed macaques have a unique social structure where dominant females are the center of the group, and males leave the group once they reach sexual maturity.


The stump-tailed macaque, also known as the bear macaque or bonnet macaque, is a medium-sized Old World monkey species found in South Asia. They have short, dark brown fur covering their body and a characteristic stump-like tail.

Males are typically larger than females, with an average weight of around 8-12 kg, while females usually weigh around 5-8 kg. They have a stocky build with broad shoulders and a robust jaw, and their face is characterised by a short muzzle and a prominent brow ridge.

One notable feature of the stump-tailed macaque is their social behaviour. They live in troops of up to 100 individuals and display a hierarchical social structure, with dominant males leading the group. They communicate with each other using a range of vocalisations and body language, including facial expressions and gestures.

In addition to their social behaviour, stump-tailed macaques are also known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They have been observed using tools in the wild, such as using sticks to dig for insects, and have also been trained to perform tasks in laboratory settings.

Food Habits

In the wild, stump-tailed macaques are primarily herbivorous and feed on a variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves, and insects. They are opportunistic feeders and will consume whatever food is available in their habitat. They are also known to raid crops and gardens in areas where their natural habitat has been disturbed or destroyed.


Stump-tailed macaques are native to the Indian subcontinent, where they are found in a range of habitats, from tropical and subtropical forests to grasslands and urban areas. They are particularly common in the northeastern parts of India.

Stump-tailed macaques are adaptable to a range of environments and have been observed living in both natural and human-altered landscapes. They are known to be agile climbers and are often found in trees, but they also spend time on the ground, where they forage for food and interact with other members of their troop.

Vulnerable Species

The stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) is classified as a vulnerable species according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The population of this species is declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting, and capture for the wildlife trade. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species estimates that the global population of stump-tailed macaques is decreasing and currently ranges between 6,000 to 10,000 individuals. However, population estimates for this species are uncertain and more research is needed to better understand the current status and population trends of this species.

Protected Areas

The stump-tailed macaque is primarily found in the northeastern region of India, including the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.

Namdapha National Park is located in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh and is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. It is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including over 425 species of birds and 96 species of mammals. In addition to the stump-tailed macaque, Namdapha National Park is also home to other primate species such as the Assamese macaque, hoolock gibbon, and capped langur.

Nokrek National Park is located in the Garo Hills district of Meghalaya and is known for its unique biodiversity. The park is home to several species of primates, including the stump-tailed macaque, as well as other threatened species such as the Indian elephant, clouded leopard, and red panda.

Dampa Tiger Reserve is located in the western part of Mizoram and is known for its tropical forests and wildlife. It is home to several species of primates, including the stump-tailed macaque, as well as other threatened species such as the Asiatic black bear, clouded leopard, and binturong.

Intanki National Park is located in the Peren district of Nagaland and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the stump-tailed macaque. The park is known for its hilly terrain, dense forests, and natural beauty.

Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bishalgarh subdivision of Tripura and is known for its diverse range of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is home to several species of primates, including the stump-tailed macaque, as well as other threatened species such as the Indian elephant and clouded leopard.

image_pdfDownload As PDF

Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *