Wednesday, May 5, 2010



This macaque is diurnal, endemic to the evergreen forests of Western ghats and is the most endangered among all the primates found in Kerala. Their subdued ‘’Coo-Coo-Coo’’ call is very distinct from that of the other black monkey,the Nilgiri langur. They occur in troops of 10 to 20 animals. Freshly discarded fruits of Cullenia exarillata with feeding signs more often indicate the presence of this monkey in the vicinity.

Scientific name: Macaca silenus

Local names : Simhavalan kurangu , Shingalan, Moolian.

Habiat : Wet evergreen forest.

Distribution : Seen in the wet evergreen forests in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In Kerala it occurs in Silent valley National park, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, New Amarambalam, Muthikulam, Parambikulam, Sholayar,Periyar Tiger Reserve, Aralam, Ranni, Nelliampathy and Neyyar.

Indirect evidences : Discarded parts of fruits, calls, sound of moving branches and faecal matters reveal the presence of these monkeys. It is difficult to find foot prints. Rarely comes to ground and foot prints will be confused with that of bonnet macaque.Discarded food parts can be indistinguishable from other arboreal mammals e. g. Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaque and Malabar giant squirrel, except perhaps for some specific food species e. g. Cullenia sp. and Diospyros.

Dropping : Similar to bonnet macaque, but difficult to locate in the evergreen forests.

Colour : Grayish to black in colour.

Calls : ‘’Coo…Coo…Coo…’’ contact calls are frequent. These calls are very reliable, audible and can be herd up to 75-100 m.

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