Species: Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus)
Status: Endangered (EN)
Interesting Fact: The Barbary macaque is the only primate, apart from humans, to live in Europe, and the only macaque to live outside of Asia.
The Barbary macaque can be found in Algeria, Morocco, and Gibraltar. These large monkeys are highly social and live in troops of 12 to 60. In an unusual mating system, females may mate with all male members of the troop. This means that males can never be sure of paternity and encourages all males to play with, groom and protect the young troop members.
Barbary macaques were once found throughout North Africa but now only exist in small areas. This species is threatened by habitat loss from logging and human settlements, as well as hunting, forest fires, livestock grazing and drought. Seen as a symbol of Gibraltar and valued as a tourist attraction, these macaques are given some protection. There are plans to reintroduce these monkeys to national parks in Libya and Tunisia. Active and effective conservation policies are needed to protect this charismatic species.
Find out more about the Barbary macaque on the Natural History Museum website.
Lauren Pascoe, ARKive Researcher