Rheus group - Formosan, Japanese and Rhesus macaque
The Rheus group of Macaques consists of 3 species. Each one will get its own page as we start to make contacts which can help you see these in the wild, but for the time being, all three will share this page.
The Formosan Macaque (also known as the Formosan rock monkey or Taiwanese macaque natively living on the Island of Taiwan (current population of around 250,000), though it has also been introduced into Japan. It is thought that Formosan and Japanese macaques split around 380,000 years ago, with the introduced population on Japan, there is some risk that the Japanese (or snow macaque) will disappear, over time, as a result of hybridisation). I have been unable to ascertain the size of this invasive population.
Japanese Macaque (also known as snow monkeys) was estimated to number 110,000 back in 1989, I am unsure how it has changed since. It lives in both subtropical forests in the southern part of its range and subarctic forests in mountainous areas in the northern part of its range. It is, in the northern end of its range that it is most famous, with the pictures of ‘snow monkeys’, and the fascinating behaviour of spending time in the volcanic hot pools.
Rhesus macaque is found through South, Central and South-eastern Asia, and has the widest range of any non-human primate. It is found through a wide range of altitudes, and a variety of habitats, from grasslands to arid and forested areas. They have also taken up residence on the edge of human settlements as there is much food waste to be found in these areas. Feral colonies are also found in the USA, having escaped or been intentionally released by humans. Silver Spring State Park in Florida is home to at least 500-600 rhesus macaques, with more than 1000 having been removed by the authorities in the last decade. Other populations exist in Puerto Rico and South Carolina. The Puerto Rico population is thought to cost 1 million dollars a year to manage and as much as $300,000 in crop damage.