Snow Monkeys

Snow Monkeys [Japanese Monkey] Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) have been officially listed as threatened by the US Endangered Species Act; principally due to habitat loss. The Japanese Macaques in these images have their home in the Nagano Mountains on the Island of Honshu, Japan. Snow Monkeys in this region live near natural hot springs which are heated by the Shiga Kogen volcano. Using the hot springs like hot tubs, the Snow Monkeys have developed a behavior to cope with the frigid temperatures and weather conditions of their mountain habitat. The Japanese macaque population is threatened due to the destruction of their habitat. This forces the adaptable monkeys to search for food outside of their habitat where they can. When the Nagano macaques began to invade nearby hot tubs and human spas, a decision was made to build them their own hot springs area. The Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Perfecture is the result.

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