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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Pagai Macaque

Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Macaca pagensis

Head-body length : average 53 cm 
Tail length : 13-16 cm 
Weight : Males 6-9 kg, females 4.5-6 kg
(Supriatna, 2019)

Macaca pagensis (Pagai Macaque or 'Siteut') inhabits the islands of Sipora, Pagai Utara (North Pagai), Pagai Selatan (South Pagai) and nearby Sinakek, which form part of the Mentawai island group off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. 

It occurs in a range of native habitats including lowland primary and lowland secondary forest, swamp forest and riverine forest. It will also venture into agricultural areas, including coconut plantations. (Supriatna, 2019).

Its diet comprises a variety of young leaves, seeds and fruits, as well as freshwater molluscs; it may be seen at the same fruiting trees frequented by the Mentawai Langur (Presbytis potenziani) and Pig-tailed Snub-nosed Monkey (Simias concolor). Groups size can range from 2 to 12 individuals. (Supriatna, 2019).

As with many other species of macaque, Macaca pagensis spends much of its time on the ground or amongst the lower branches of trees.

Its fur is dark brown dorsally, and pale brown around the neck and shoulders. Its legs are brown and its arms are reddish brown. 

In 1996 the status of Macaca pagensis was upgraded to 'Critically Endangered' by IUCN (Setiawan et al, 2020) with major threats including habitat loss, hunting, and deliberate poisoning in agricultural areas where it is considered a pest.

1 : Adult on Sipora Island, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Photo thanks to Matius.

Fig 2 : Pair of Pagai Macaque in the shade of dense, low-level foliage on Sipora Island. This appears to be an adult and a sub-adult. Photo thanks to Andie Ang.

Fig 3 : Remnant, tall, lowland forest on Sipora Island, which is prime habitat for the Pagai Macaque. Photo thanks to Andie Ang.

References :

Setiawan, A., Mittermeier, R.A. & Whittaker, D. 2020. Macaca pagensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T39794A17949995.. 

Supriatna, J. (2019). Field Guide to the Indonesia Primates of Indonesia. Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia. 233 pp. 

Links :

IUCN assessment (2020)


Fig 1

ゥ  Matius

Fig 2

ゥ  Andie Ang

Fig 3

ゥ  Andie Ang