Locally known as the Yaki, the Sulawesi crested black macaque (Macaca nigra) is an endemic animal found on the northern island of Sulawesi and several surrounding islands, facing the threat of extinction as its population has continued to decline by 80 percent in the last 40 years.
This exotic animal is designated as a protected species according to the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No.92/2018 on Protected Plant and Animal Species. Yaki is also critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list and included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Although Yaki can still be found in primary and secondary forests, its existence is at risk due to hunting, land conversion, and illegal logging and mining. Most Minahasa people are fond of consuming exotic animal meat, including Yaki meat. They hunt Yaki in unprotected areas spread across Minahasa, Bolaang Mongondow, and Gorontalo.
Several studies have suggested that the population and distribution of Yaki has declined dramatically, mainly due to poaching and forest loss as a native habitat. Currently, it is estimated that only around 5,000 Yaki remain in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve in Bitung, North Sulawesi, and in the Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, which covers the highly vulnerable areas of Bolaang Mongondow and Gorontalo.
These two protected areas, managed by the MoEF, face threats from illegal logging, mining, and land clearing as well as human resource shortages.