Lion-tailed Macaque


  • Lion-tailed Macaque are shy, fruit-eating primates. You can find them only in the rainforests of India’s western ghats.

About Lion-tailed Macaque

  • The Lion-tailed macaque is an ‘endangered’ species.
  • The Lion Tailed Macaques are named so not because of their manes but because of their tails which resembles a lion’s.
  • Like most macaques, they have unique cheek pouches to store food. They live in groups and avoid human interaction as much as possible.

    Lion-tailed Macaque
    Image from the paper Ram et al (2015) published in the journal Plos One.
  • According to the IUCN, there are only 2400 – 2500 Macaques across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. 
  • Valparai in Tamil Nadu is one of the last remaining homes for the Lion Tailed macaque.
    • It shares this turf along with elephants, Bisons, Bonnet Macaques, Nilgiris Tahr and others.
  • The lion-tailed macaques prefer the upper canopies of evergreen rainforests to move around. The local administration has constructed aerial bridges at common macaque crossings so that they do not have to come down from the canopy to cross the road.
  • Silent Valley has the largest number of lion tailed macaque in South India.
  • Though also known as “the wanderoo,” lion-tailed macaques don’t venture far from their familiar range. Solitary and shy, they stick with their hierarchical group of usually 10 to 20 members.
  • Founds in the Kudremukh and Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka, the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park in Kerala.


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