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Macaca cyclopis | Taiwanese Macaque | 台湾猕猴 [tai wan mi hou]


Best spot: Yushan National Park, Chiayi County, Taiwan



Taxonomy & Occurrence

Macaca cyclopis is a monotypic species (no subspecies). It is only found in the central mountain ranges and peripheral lowland forest remnants in Taiwan.


IUCN Conservation Status

Least Concern


Besides humans, Taiwanese Macaque is the only native primate living in Taiwan. Introduced populations have become established at four localities in Japan: Oshima (south of Tokyo), Nojima (south of Nagoya), Wakayama prefecture (south of Osaka, where it has hybridized with Japanese Macaque), and the Shimokita Peninsula (northern Honshu) [1].




Seeing this Species


Taiwanese Macaques at the Yushan National Park were once problematic. Long-term human feeding resulted in cases of macaques attacking tourists. With the implementation of education guidance by local guides and the banning of feeding of the macaques, the situation improved. Local guides repeatedly reminded tourists to keep a safe distance from the macaques, and the macaques were also nonchalantly carrying out their routine activities in the presence of humans [See video above]. 


Yushan National Park, Chiayi County, Taiwan

The easiest way to get to Yushan National Park is through Alishan National Scenic Area.


Both the Taiwan High Speed Rail [HSR] and the Taiwan Railways Administration [TRA] can take you to Chiayi Station, which is the closest jumping-off point to Alishan and then Yushan. At Chiayi Station, catch the tourist bus to Alishan [NT$250 one-way, there is an Information Counter inside the station]. The journey up the mountains takes about 3 hours. The last stop is the Alishan National Scenic Area [entrance fee is NT$150]. Most hotels offer minibus transport service [NT$300 return] to see the famous sunrise near Tataka Visitor Center of Yushan National Park, the highest peak in the country. This is also the spot where you will almost certainly see the Taiwanese Macaque. 


Probability of success: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◇


Overlapping species: None 


Other sites:

Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi County, Taiwan

Alishan is gorgeous with its mystical trees, oriental cherries, seas of clouds and sunrise. And for these reasons, Alishan is packed with people all year round, rain or shine, summer or winter. We did not see the macaques here, and locals explained that the macaques stay deep in the forest and rarely come into the overcrowded town. The probability of seeing them in Alishan is rather low.


Overlapping species: None


Local contacts: Mr. Xiao (Minivan transport,

Early morning grooming

© Andie Ang

Yushan National Park, Taiwan

© Andie Ang

Yushan National Park, Taiwan

Crowds gathering to witness the famous sunrise over the tallest mountain, Yushan, in Taiwan

© Andie Ang

Yushan National Park, Taiwan


[1] Fooden J. and Wu H.Y., 2001. Systematic review of the Taiwanese macaque, Macaca cyclopis Swinhoe, 1863. Fieldiana: Zoology 98: 70pp.



Page Last Updated: 28 September 2018


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