JAPANESE MACAQUE (macaca fuscata)
Habitat: Japan - mountainous and wooded areas
Longevity: 8 to 10 years in wild - 18 to 25 in captivity
Gestation: Approximately 165 days
Diet: Nuts, fruits, leaves, roots, grubs, and insects. In captivity: primate biscuits, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat and peanut butter sandwiches and fresh picked leaves from our trees in the zoo.
Considered a cold weather primate, the snow macaque seems impervious to snow and winter weather in general. Although provided with a heated shelter, they seem to prefer staying outside on their logs, except during cold rains. Their stocky compact body, covered with a dense coat of hair, is built for heat conservation. They are very capable climbers, but do most of their foraging at ground level. A family group consists of several adult and adolescent males along with many breeding females; their various aged offspring and juvenile females. Females remain within their mother's group throughout their life, while males usually migrate to other groups upon reaching puberty. A young masques ranking in the troop depends upon its mother status. High-ranking females produce high-ranking offspring that mature to be troop leaders. Due to the cold weather conditions, in which they evolved, the breeding season is synchronized, with all babies born during the warm Spring months.
The Japanese Macaque, like many other primates,is threatened by habitat destruction and over population by humans. They live mainly on reserves, and in many cases, depend upon supplemental feeding by humans to survive the winter conditions.
The Natural Bridge Zoological Park has maintained a thriving colony of Japanese Macaques for over 25 years and has supplied many zoological parks with offspring to provide new genetic diversity for their colonies.