The World's Worst Invasive Mammals
Animals as common as goats, deer, rabbits or mice can have a devastating effect on other wildlife
- By Jess Righthand
- Smithsonian.com, December 20, 2010
Long-tailed macaque (© Arco Images GmbH / Alamy)
The long-tailed macaque (Macaca irus), a native of Southeast Asia, has been introduced into Mauritius, Palau, Hong Kong and parts of Indonesia. Identifiable by their extended tails—which are often longer than both head and body combined—this primate competes with birds for native fruits and vegetation, which make up 60 to 90 percent of their diet. Macaques have also been known to prey on the eggs and chicks of endangered birds. They give birth only to one offspring every couple of years, but that’s quite enough for scientists, who are currently investigating a vaccine to render females infertile in order to aid in population control.