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.
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.
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.