top of page


Macaca nemestrina | Southern Pig-tailed Macaque | Beruk


Good spot: Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Malaysia

© Noel Thomas

Fraser's Hill, Malaysia



Taxonomy & Occurrence

Macaca nemestrina is a monotypic species (no subspecies). It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.


IUCN Conservation Status



There are two species of pig-tailed macaques: Southern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Northern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca leonina). As their names suggest, the Southern species is found in the southern parts of Southeast Asia while the Northern species occurs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Populations of these two species can be found in southern Thailand [1].


Pig-tailed macaques are highly adaptable, and can sometimes be found in and around human-modified landscapes. In oil palm plantations, pig-tailed macaques feed on palm fruits, which can result in the trapping and killing of the monkeys by land owners. As forests are being converted for human use, human-animal conflicts are becoming widespread. On-the-ground research is crucial for us to better understand and resolve human-animal conflicts. The Macaca Nemestrina Project (MNeP), for instance, aims at understanding the actual impact of crop consumption by Southern Pig-tailed Macaques and ways to mitigate conflicts at Segari Melintang Forest Reserve in Perak, Malaysia.

Seeing this Species


Pig-tailed macaques have a characteristic short tail which looks like that of a pig. They also have a tuft of black hair on the top of their head which makes their face appear like a heart shape.


Where Southern Pig-tailed Macaques are found, you may also find Long-tailed Macaques. Southern Pig-tailed Macaques are larger in body size than Long-tailed Macaques, have shorter tails, and have smaller group sizes.


Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Malaysia 

Nicknamed "The Little England of Malaysia", the colonial roots of Fraser's Hill began from the discovery of the plateau bordered by the seven hills  by its namesake, Louis James Fraser. The central point of Fraser's Hill is a small clock tower, surrounded by picturesque colonial-style buildings now conserved for post office, police station, clinic, cafés, restaurants, and hotels. Just in front of the clock tower is the Puncak Inn, where you can receive free information and maps for exploring this town.


The cool climate of Fraser's Hill makes primate watching a breeze. There are 8 nature trails of varying terrain and distance. The Bishop Trail (1,500 meters) is one of the most pristine. The Pine Tree Trail (5,000 meters) is the most physically challenging with steep slopes, but features a majestic view of the mountains. Most of the other trails are wide with open canopy, probably not a good spot for primates.


How to get there

Locally named as Bukit Fraser, Fraser's Hill is in the central region of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang. It is about two hours drive north of Kuala Lumpur. The second hour of drive follows an extremely winding road up to the top, at an average altitude of 1,200 meters. You may also catch a bus from the Pudu Raya bus terminal at Kuala Lumpur, heading towards Kuala Kubu Bharu.


Probability of success: ◆ ◆ ◇ ◇ ◇


Overlapping species: Reid's Dusky LangurGreater Slow Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Malaysian White-handed Gibbon, Malayan Pale-thighed Langur, Siamang


Other sites:

Gunung Lambak, Johor, Malaysia

See page for Malaysian White-handed Gibbon.


Overlapping species: Raffles' Banded Langur, Reid's Dusky LangurGreater Slow Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Malaysian White-handed Gibbon


Panti Bird Sanctuary, Johor, Malaysia

See page for Raffles' Banded Langur.


Overlapping species: Raffles' Banded Langur, Reid's Dusky LangurGreater Slow Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Malaysian White-handed Gibbon 


Segari Melintang Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia

See Macaca Nemestrina Project (MNeP).


Overlapping species: Agile Gibbon, Raffles' Banded Langur, Reid's Dusky Langur, Greater Slow Loris, Long-tailed Macaque, Malaysian White Gibbon 


Local contacts: Macaca Nemestrina Project (MNeP)




A juvenile Southern Pig-tailed Macaque

© Andie Ang

Gunung Lambak, Kluang, Malaysia

The "Little England" of Malaysia

© Andie Ang

Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Malaysia


[1] Groves C., 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., USA. 



Page Last Updated: 6 June 2021

bottom of page