The Formosan Rock Macaques of Songboling

Formosan Rock Macaque
Stumbled upon a troop of a dozen or so Formosan Rock Macaques [Macaca cyclopis] today.  We followed a portion of the Songboling Trail, which spans from Ershui’s Fongbo Plaza [豐柏廣場] to Songboling’s Shoutian Temple [受天宮].  If you’re looking to see Formosan Rock Macaques outside of the zoo this is good place.  I’ve heard that 6am-9am is ideal.  Don’t carry any food on the trail, as the monkeys will snatch it from you.
Formosan Rock Macaque
The Formosan Rock Macaque is endemic to Taiwan and has been introduced to Japan.  They’re typically between 50-60cm, their tails measure between 26-45cm and they weigh between 5-12kg.  They live in mixed coniferous-hardwood temperate forest, as well as bamboo and grassland at 100-3600m.  They’re often found in large multimale-multifemale troops.

Formosan Rock Macaque
Directions: To start at the bottom of the trail – take a train to Ershui Railway Station and take a 20-minute walk along Fengbo Road to reach Fengbo Plaza.  Alternatively, you can start at Shoutian Temple at the top – take a train to Tianzhong Railway Station, transfer to the Changhua Bus Line bound for Songboling, get off at Songboling Station and walk about 10 minutes to the temple.

Here’s Fengbo Plaza and Shoutian Temple on Google Maps.Formosan Rock Macaque
More photos of these lovely creatures can be found on my Monkey Business Flickr set.

Further Reading:

4 thoughts on “The Formosan Rock Macaques of Songboling

  1. Pingback: East Asia Blog Round-Up : 4/7/2010 « Eye on East Asia

  2. Great photos! I can never seem to get good photos of macaques or any other non-human primate.

    There are other places to see macaques: everyone knows about Chaishan, where they can be seen before about 11am and then again closer to dusk. In Taipei, Tianmu Old Trail, at the part where it’s fairly flat, but only on weekdays in the early morning or late afternoon – on weekends they don’t come because there are too many people. We saw one at Baxiandong on the east coast, but just one. I’ve been told there are some near the top of Shulongjian in Jingtong (Pingxi area) if you take the rough trail up but we took the staired path and did not see them.

  3. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Taiwan: Photos of Formosan Macaques

  4. Thanks Jenna. The monkeys here seem to be pretty unfazed by the presence of people. We went on a Sunday and there were plenty of other people on the trails that day. Also, there were firecrackers going off at the nearby temple not too far away.

    The only other two times I’ve seen them in the wild were while cycling the Northern Cross Island HWY and when coming back from Alishan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s