Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 10251371
Barbary Macaque Conservation in the Rif (BMCRif) is a ground-breaking conservation project which uses cross-disciplinary methods from social and biological sciences to work with local people in preventing the decline of the Barbary macaque in two habitats in northern Morocco. We are determining the current status of Barbary macaque populations in both matorral and mixed oak forest habitats by accessing local people's ecological knowledge about the species. We are identifying areas of conflict between humans and Barbary macaques in their shared landscape by observations and interviews. We are ensuring that local people do not feel pushed aside by implementing programmes which benefit them, their domestic animals and the macaques. As a result of this strategy, we are successfully eradicating the persecution and capture of Barbary macaques in this area of their distribution. The project began to receive long term funding for basic salaries and running costs from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in 2009. The purchase of a vehicle has made us much more efficient and so, after little over a year in the field, we have baseline data on the macaque population and the threats it is facing and have begun to work with local people to address those threats We are undertaking a domestic dog health programme to reduce the risk of rabies to both people and macaques and to control dog reproduction in the area thus reducing predation on livestock and macaques by abandoned dogs. To make conservation fun, we organise the BMCRif Football Tournament with a monkey message. Our information leaflet has been read out and discussed in every mosque in the project area. In 2011, the project has expanded to include the other main area of Barbary macaque distribution in the north of Morocco where we have recently discovered that macaques are routinely killed for crop raiding and opportunistic capture of infants for the pet trade still occurs. Single species conservation is more effective if local people feel involved. BMCRif is a holistic conservation project working with an endangered species, the Barbary macaque, and involving local people and their domestic animals in the implementation of basic strategies to benefit all.
Project 10251371 location - Morocco, Africa