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World Japanese Macaque Day

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.

World Japanese Macaque Day

World Japanese Macaque Day, on December 3rd, celebrates the most Northern occurring non human primate. It is restricted to several of the islands of Japan. Also know as the Snow Monkey the Japanese Macaque Macaca fuscata can be found in very cold snowy environments for which, with its thick coat, it is well adapted.


The Japanese Macaque can be found on several of the Japanese islands where it mainly inhabits subtropical forests. In the northern part of its range on the island of Honshu this changes and they can be found in a subarctic environment in the mountain range where they have adapted to spending part of their time in hot springs.

They are a popular attraction for visitors in these 'wild' parks and are routinely fed so they remain in the area of the springs.

Snow Monkey

By guy clift on Flickr

By guy clift on Flickr

Conservation Status

The Japanese Macaque is not under any direct threats and is considered to be of 'least concern'.

There is an official studbook for captive animals held in the US. This was last updated (10th Edition) in 2018. The species is in decline in European zoos.

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Sadly there are a number of hybrids in captivity.

Hot Spring

By Eszter on Flickr

By Eszter on Flickr

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