Arunachal macaque

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Arunachal macaque
Arunachal macaque from Bugun and Shertukpen forests around Eaglenest WLS.JPG
Arunachal macaque from Bugun and Shertukpen forests around Eaglenest WLS
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca
M. munzala
Binomial name
Macaca munzala
Sinha et al., 2005 [2]
Arunachal Macaque area.png
Arunachal macaque range

The Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) is a macaque native to Arunachal Pradesh in North-east India. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. [1] It was scientifically described in 2005. [2]


It is a relatively large brown primate with a comparatively short tail. Its species name comes from munzala ("monkey of the deep forest") as it was called by the Monpa people. [3]


A camera trap photograph of Arunachal macaques in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India Arunachal macaque on a camera trap in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.JPG
A camera trap photograph of Arunachal macaques in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India

It was discovered as a new taxon in 1997 by the noted Indian primatologist Anwaruddin Choudhury, but he thought it to be a new subspecies of the Tibetan macaque (M. thibetana). [4] It was described as a new species in 2005 by a group of scientists from the Nature Conservation Foundation, India. [2] It is the first species of macaque to have been discovered since 1903, when the Indonesian Pagai Island macaque was discovered. This monkey was reported on the basis of a good quality photograph as the holotype. In 2011, some researchers suggested, on the basis of morphological variation within the Assamese macaque, that it might be better treated as a subspecies. [5]

Subsequently, it was also discovered in Bhutan, where it was observed and photographed in the Trashi Yangshi area in 2006. [6]


The Arunachal macaque is compactly built and has a very dark face. It lives at high altitudes, between 2000 m and 3500 m above sea level, making it one of the highest-dwelling primates. It belongs to the M. sinica species-group of macaques, along with the Assamese macaque (M. assamensis), the Tibetan macaque, the bonnet macaque (M. radiata) and the toque macaque (M. sinica).

The Arunachal macaque is apparently physically similar to the Assam and Tibetan macaques, while genetically closely related to the bonnet macaque of southern India. [7] This is probably the result of convergent evolution, where organisms evolve similar physical features due to similar environmental selection pressure, while genetically they may have different origins. However, its full specific status is not beyond doubt and further research might show it to be a new subspecies of Assamese or Tibetan macaques.[ citation needed ]

This monkey is severely persecuted in some parts of its known distribution by locals retaliating against crop raiding. Recent[ when? ] surveys suggest that this species may be highly endangered in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh.[ citation needed ]

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Macaque Genus of Old World monkeys

The macaques constitute a genus (Macaca) of gregarious Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The 23 species of macaques inhabit ranges throughout Asia, North Africa, and Gibraltar. Macaques are principally frugivorous, although their diet also includes seeds, leaves, flowers, and tree bark. Some species, such as the crab-eating macaque, subsist on a diet of invertebrates and occasionally small vertebrates. On average, southern pig-tailed macaques in Malaysia eat about 70 large rats each per year. All macaque social groups are matriarchal, arranged around dominant females.

Crab-eating macaque Species of mammal

The crab-eating macaque, also known as the long-tailed macaque and referred to as the cynomolgus monkey in laboratories, is a cercopithecine primate native to Southeast Asia. A species of macaque, the crab-eating macaque has a long history alongside humans; it has been alternately seen as an agricultural pest, sacred animal in some temples, and more recently, the subject of medical experiments.

Holotype The example of an organism used to describe its species

A holotype is a single physical example of an organism, known to have been used when the species was formally described. It is either the single such physical example or one of several such, but explicitly designated as the holotype. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), a holotype is one of several kinds of name-bearing types. In the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) and ICZN, the definitions of types are similar in intent but not identical in terminology or underlying concept.

Old World monkey Family of mammals

Old World monkey is the common English name for a family of primates known taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons, macaques, and mabahlls. Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc, vervet, gelada, mangabey, langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Phylogenetically, they are more closely related to apes than to New World monkeys. They diverged from a common ancestor of New World monkeys around 55 million years ago.

Rhesus macaque Species of Old World monkey

The rhesus macaque, colloquially rhesus monkey, is a species of Old World monkey. It is listed as least concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and its tolerance of a broad range of habitats. It is native to South, Central, and Southeast Asia and has the widest geographic range of all non-human primates, occupying a great diversity of altitudes and a great variety of habitats, from grasslands to arid and forested areas, but also close to human settlements.

Hoolock gibbon Genus of apes

The hoolock gibbons are three primate species of genus Hoolock in the gibbon family, Hylobatidae, native to eastern Bangladesh, Northeast India, Myanmar and Southwest China.

Toque macaque Species of Old World monkey

The toque macaque is a reddish-brown-coloured Old World monkey endemic to Sri Lanka, where it is known as the rilewa or rilawa, . Its name refers to the whorl of hair at the crown of the head, compared to a brimless toque cap.

Assam macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Assam macaque or Assamese macaque is a macaque of the Old World monkey family native to South and Southeast Asia. Since 2008, the species has been listed as "near threatened" by the IUCN, as it is experiencing significant declines due to hunting, habitat degradation, and fragmentation.

Bonnet macaque Species of Old World monkey

The bonnet macaque, also known as zati, is a species of macaque endemic to southern India. Its distribution is limited by the Indian Ocean on three sides and the Godavari and Tapti Rivers, along with its related competitor the rhesus macaque in the north. Land use changes in the last few decades have resulted in changes in its distribution boundaries with the rhesus macaque, raising concern for its status in the wild.

Stump-tailed macaque Species of Old World monkey

The stump-tailed macaque, also called the bear macaque, is a species of macaque found in South Asia. In India, it is found in south of the Brahmaputra River, in the northeastern part of the country. Its range in India extends from Assam and Meghalaya to eastern Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park is a 1,985 km2 (766 sq mi) large protected area in Arunachal Pradesh of Northeast India. With more than 1,000 floral and about 1,400 faunal species, it is a biodiversity hotspot in the Eastern Himalayas. The national park harbours the northernmost lowland evergreen rainforests in the world at 27°N latitude. It also harbours extensive dipterocarp forests, comprising the northwestern parts of the Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests ecoregion.

Southern pig-tailed macaque Species of mammal

The southern pig-tailed macaque, also known as the Sundaland pig-tailed macaque and Sunda pig-tailed macaque, is a medium-sized macaque that lives in southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is known locally as the beruk.

Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary

Eaglenest or Eagle's Nest Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh. It conjoins Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng river to the east. Altitude ranges are extreme: from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft). It is a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve.

Nature Conservation Foundation

The Nature Conservation Foundation is a non-governmental wildlife conservation and research organisation based in Mysore, India. They promote the use of science for wildlife conservation in India.

Northern pig-tailed macaque Species of Old World monkey

The northern pig-tailed macaque is a species of macaque in the family Cercopithecidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Traditionally, M. leonina was considered a subspecies of the southern pig-tailed macaque, but is now classified as individual species.

Anwaruddin Choudhury, M.A., Ph.D, D.Sc, is an Indian naturalist, noted for his expertise on the fauna of North-East India.

Tibetan macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Tibetan macaque, also known as the Chinese stump-tailed macaque or Milne-Edwards' macaque, is a macaque species found from eastern Tibet east to Guangdong and north to Shaanxi in China. It has also been reported from northeastern India. This species lives in subtropical forests at elevations from 800 to 2,500 m above sea level.

White-cheeked macaque Species of Old World monkey

The white-cheeked macaque is a species of macaque found only in Mêdog County in southeastern Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. The white-cheeked macaque lives in forest habitats, from tropical forests to primary and secondary evergreen broad-leaved forests and mixed broadleaf-conifer forests. The species was first described by its discoverers, Chinese primatologists Cheng Li, Chao Zhao, and Peng-Fei Fan, in the American Journal of Primatology in 2015. It is one of twenty-three extant species in the genus Macaca, and the most recent to be formally described to science. While the species' exact conservation status has not yet been determined, it is likely threatened by poaching, deforestation, and increased human development of its habitat, much like the other primates which inhabit the area.


  1. 1 2 Kumar, A.; Sinha, A. & Kumar, S. (2008). "Macaca munzala". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2008: e.T136569A4311929.
  2. 1 2 3 Sinha, A.; Datta, A.; Madhusudan, M. D. & Mishra, C. (2005). "Macaca munzala: a new species from western Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India". International Journal of Primatology. 26 (4): 977–989. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1007/s10764-005-5333-3.
  3. Press release issued jointly by NCF, WCS, New York, International Snow Leopard Trust & NIAS, Bangalore    PDF Archived 30 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Choudhury, A. (2004). "The mystery macaques of Arunachal Pradesh". Rhino Foundation Newsletter. 6: 21–25.
  5. Biswas, J.; Borah, D. K.; Das, A.; Das, J.; Bhattacharjee, P. C.; Mohnot, S. M. & Horwich, R. H. (2011). "The Enigmatic Arunachal Macaque: Its Biogeography, Biology and Taxonomy in Northeastern India". American Journal of Primatology. 73 (5): 458–73. doi:10.1002/ajp.20924. PMID   21246593.
  6. Choudhury A.U. (2008). "Primates of Bhutan and observations of hybrid langurs". Primate Conservation. 23: 65–73. doi:10.1896/052.023.0107.
  7. Chakraborty, D.; Ramakrishnan, U.; Panor, J.; Mishra, C.; Sinha, A. (2007). "Phylogenetic relationships and morphometric affinities of the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, a newly described primate from Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 44 (2): 838–49. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.04.007. PMID   17548213.