Assam Macaque Monkey: Lifespan, Habitat & Facts

Instructor: Lauren Posey

Lauren has taught intermediate reading in an English Language Institute, and she has her Master's degree in Linguistics.

In this lesson you'll learn about the Assam macaque, also called the Himalayan macaque. We'll take a look at its typical lifespan, habitat and geographic range, and some interesting facts.

On the Verge

You often hear about endangered animals, and the severe population declines they have suffered, however, did you know there are several official listings that come before this label? One of the earlier listings is near-threatened. A species in this category is suffering a population decline, but not quite enough of one to be listed as vulnerable or endangered. One near-threatened species is the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis), a species of macaque native to parts of southeastern Asia.

The Assam macaque, also referred to as the Himalayan macaque, is suffering decline from habitat loss as well as hunting by humans. It is important to look at animals like the Assam macaque so that we can help them before they become endangered. The earlier conservation efforts start, the easier it is for a species to recover.

The Assam macaque is listed as near-threatened.
Assam macaque

Lifespan

If they are protected, Assam macaques can live long lives. In captivity, this species has been known to live up to 31 years. Their lifespan in the wild is not known. For most species the wild lifespan is a few years shorter than their lifespan in captivity, assuming they are properly cared for.

Where in the World

Assam macaques are native to nine countries in southeastern Asia. They can be found in eastern India, west as far as Nepal, and south into Thailand and Vietnam. This species also lives in parts of western China.

Their preferred habitat is a dense forest, especially primary forest, that has never been disturbed by humans. They rarely live in a disturbed forest, which is one reason it is so important to limit habitat destruction.

Within their wide range, Assam macaques can be found in several different forest types. They live in tropical and sub-tropical forests, as well as, dry deciduous forests and mountain forests. Assam macaques can also live at a wide range of elevations, depending on the country and forest type they inhabit. In all of their habitats, they spend time both in trees and on the ground.

This map shows the basic range of Assam macaques.
Map of Assam macaque range

Family Behavior and Reproduction

Assam macaques are decidedly social creatures, sometimes living in groups with up to 50 members! However, their groups are more normally closer to 10 or 15 members. These groups have a mixture of males and females as well as immature macaques. Females typically stay in their natal group, the group they were born into. Males, on the other hand, leave and join a new group when they are ready to mate.

Females are usually ready to mate at around five years old and do so between October and February. Mating season can vary depending on their location. For example, in Nepal, Assam macaques mate in November and December. After mating a female will be pregnant for about six months before giving birth to a single baby.

Other Interesting Facts

Assam macaques are fascinating creatures. Did you know that the length of their tail is different for each monkey? On some, it does not even reach their knees, but on others, the tail can be significantly longer.

Their calls are also unique. Assam macaques have a number of sounds that mean different things. For example, they have one that seems to only be used when they spot a deer. Another is used to warn the group that humans are approaching.

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