Macaques in danger !
The Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is an adorable primate native to Algeria and Morocco. Sadly, its population has been declining significantly for several decades.
This drop in numbers is due to deforestation and the harmful practices of poachers who catch them to sell to tourists and locals as pets.
Recovered animals often bear signs of mistreatment, including mutilation, cigarette burns or teeth that have been broken to prevent bites. Even animals that have not endured physical suffering have endured psychological distress, some primates demonstrating a range of behavioural problems right up to self-harming. Indeed, the macaque cannot adapt to a life in captivity and no place other than its natural habitat will be able to meet its biological needs.
It is possible for you to take action by being a responsible and vigilant tourist: refuse to take photos where Barbary macaques are used as photo props; when seeing them at local markets, do not pet them; and, above all, do not buy one as an attempt to save it from its fate, even if the animal seems unhappy and in poor health. A new macaque would immediately take its place and you would unwittingly be involved in this illegal trade.
For it is totally illegal to trade these animals in Morocco, Algeria and the European Union. People who buy a Barbary macaque and bring it to France face a fine of 9,000 euros and 6 months in prison for keeping a wild animal without a permit.
The fate of the Barbary macaque could improve since, this year, this species is subject to amendment submitted to the next CITES Conference, to be held from 24 September to 5 October in Johannesburg. This amendment, if voted, would transfer the Barbary macaque to Appendix I so the species is further protected.
To learn more about the Barbary macaque and what is at stake at the CITES Conference à PROBLEMATIC OF THE BARBARY MACAQUE