• IUCN Status
  • Population
  • Diet
    Omnivores, They feed mainly on fruits 74% , seeds, berries, cereals, fungi, and invertebrates.
  • Group
  • Size
  • Continent
    South-east Asia
  • Lifespan
    Up to 30 years
  • Weight
    4.7-14.5 kg
  • Habitat
    Tropical forests, open woodlands and scrublands. Southern Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Scientific Name
    Macaca nemestrina

Meet the Pig-Tailed Macaque


Unlike almost all primates, these macaques love water. They live in large groups that split into smaller groups during daytime when they are foraging. There is a very defined hierarchy among the groups, if you read our interesting facts below you learn more about this social structure.

The alpha female leads the group, while the male role is more to manage conflict within the group and to defend it

A group of pig-tailed macaques were trained at a special school in Thailand to work on coconut plantations. They retrieve coconuts from the trees and are capable of picking 800-1000 coconuts per day.

They feed mainly on fruits, seeds, berries, cereals, fungi, and invertebrates.



our small troop of macaques at Wolds Wildlife Park

Did you know?

Continue reading to learn more about these intriguing primates.

Do Southern pig-tailed macaques like water?up arrow

Unlike most other primates, pig-tailed macaques love water & are confident swimmers.  They will take to the water to cool off, play or escape predators

How does the hierarchy work in a troop of macaques?down arrow

There is a hierarchy among males based on strength and among females based on heredity, therefore the daughter of the alpha female will immediately be placed above all other females in the group.  The alpha female leads the group.

Southern pig-tailed macaques breeding habits:down arrow

Surprisingly high-ranking males do not tend to produce more offspring than lower-ranking males.  Female rank tends to determine the sex of their babies: higher-ranking females produce more females & low-ranking females generally give birth to males.

Are pig-tailed macaques noisy?down arrow

These primates are generally silent but they can vocalise when they need to.  They communicate through screams, squeals, growls & barks but their most common sound is a ‘coo’.

Do macaques climb trees for coconuts?down arrow

Yes.  In Asia Southern pig-tailed macaques have been trained for over 400 years to harvest coconuts.  This practice is dying out due to concerns for the animals welfare