Lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus)
Great place to see the lion-tailed macaque: Anaimalai, India
Endemic to the Western Ghats of South India, lion-tailed macaque is an Old World monkey that’s a diurnal, territorial rainforest dweller. A good climber that it is, the lion-tailed macaque spends most of its life in the upper canopies of the moist tropical rainforests.
The body of this macaque is black but its mane is silver-white, giving it its German name ‘Bartaffe’, which means ‘beard ape’. The tail of this macaque has a black tuft at the end like that of a lion’s tail, which explains the name ‘lion-tailed macaque’. It is listed as an endangered species by IUCN.
Unlike other species of macaques, this monkey avoids humans and lives in hierarchical groups of 10 to 20 individuals. This arboreal mammal feeds primarily on a wide range of indigenous fruits in the rainforests, but also consumes leaves, small insects, buds and small vertebrates in the virgin forests.
The lion-tailed macaque is known to adapt to drastic environmental changes in areas of massive selective logging through its behavioural transformations and widening its range of food habits, and is thus our Animal of the Week!
See this amazing monkey on our Rainforest Photography Expedition to Anaimalai.