The Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is a unique primate species. It is the only primate found north of the Sahara desert (Morocco and Algeria), the only primate that can be found in Europe (Gibraltar) and the only species of the Genus "Macaca” that can be found outside of Asia. The Barbary macaque is an extremely adaptable animal that can live in very cold and very warm weather conditions. There are only 5000- 6000 Barbary macaques left in the wild in Morocco and Algeria, and their numbers have decreased rapidly over the last decades.
The illegal live trade in infant macaques from Morocco to Europe is a huge threat to the wild Barbary macaque population. It is estimated that up to 300 infants are taken annually from the Moroccan habitats. Most of the infants are taken from the wild are for the international pet trade to Europe. Reports of capture for the international pet trade date back to 1977, and since then the trade has strongly increased. Sanctuaries and zoos in Europe have become overstocked with Barbary Macaque infants offered to them by authorities and ex-owners, most infants coming straight from the wild. In France, where the problem is the largest of all, wild-caught macaques are euthanized frequently because of lack of shelter.
With help of this petition we want to urge the European Union and the Moroccan Authorities to better enforce the laws and put an end to this trade, and also to better protect the natural habitats of this species. Thank you for your support!!
Moroccan Primate Conservation foundation (MPC: www.mpcfoundation.nl) with funding from Wild Futures (www.wildfutures.org)