Macaques are commonly found in Malaysia, with the current existing three species placed between endangered to least concern status under the IUCN Red List, namely the stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), and the notorious long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The species classified under the endangered and vulnerable group are facing threats mainly from the loss of habitat. Conversely, species that are categorized as least concerned are often cited at the top of human-wildlife conflicts reports in various countries, although they too are facing pressure from habitat loss. There are different methods employed to control the fast-growing population of these species, calling for different levels of investment in terms of resources. It is of great interest to understand the disparities between these species, as they are able to adapt to environmental changes and some find ways to survive in alternative localities, including urban areas. The proximity of macaques to human dwellings raises a public health concern through the transmission of zoonotic diseases. More scientific studies are imperative in order to further understand the needs of these animals for continued survival and co-existence with humans and other animals in the ecosystem. Urgent efforts must be taken to preserve the macaque’s natural habitats while creating the public awareness on the predicament of these species. The focus should be on human-wildlife conflicts todispute the existing false impression that all macaques are on equal ground and abundance in numbers.
Part of the book: Managing Wildlife in a Changing World