Provisioned groups of macaques can quickly grow beyond sustainability, especially in places where resources are scarce, such as city parks and urban neighbourhoods. Populations can also appear to be thriving, even overabundant, simply because they may congregate in areas that are highly visible to humans. Yet even for the most visible macaque species, reliable and up-to-date population data are not available either overall or in specific locales and the number of macaque species considered to be threatened with extinction is continually rising. See Public Perceptions and Urban Macaques.
Governments, communities or other groups sometimes decide that population control is necessary. Population control can be implemented in various ways, depending on the desired outcome, and can be either lethal (culling) or non-lethal. Lethal methods are often undesirable both culturally, and for conservation reasons. Population control measures can be politically sensitive when endangered species are concerned. Similarly, religious or other cultural traditions may result in objections from local people. Visit our Population Control page for further information.
In the face of human-macaque conflict and macaque overpopulation (real or perceived), some governments have proposed or implemented plans to capture macaques for export to research facilities or to farms that breed macaques for export.
The Asia for Animals Coalition is opposed to this practice, which presents multiple ethical problems. Even those species generally considered to be overabundant face the threat of extinction in the wild. Welfare problems abound during capture, transit and confinement. Capture for export is considered here to be a lethal method because for many individuals death is the direct outcome.
Capture for research trade
Comprehensive, range-wide studies on the abundance of “widespread and rapidly declining” species like long-tailed macaques are required in order to truly understand the threats that such species pose to us, and we post to them. See our Field Studies page for further information.