24 september 2012
International Primatological Society meeting in Mexico
It has been a little while since I (Els) was at the International Primatolocial Society meeting (IPS) in Cancun. This conference is one of the rare meetingsthat I attend. I often feel that conferences are a waste of time and money that it is better spent on conservation in the field. Moreover I feel that taking action in the field is better than talking about conservation…
The IPS however is a meeting where all the primatologists around the work come together to present their research, experiences, successes, failures with others. It is also incredibly inspirational to hear about all the amazing work that so many people are doing around the world to save our primates.
Apart from Godelieve Kranendonk, a friend and colleague at AAP who presented her research on the influence on chemical castration in male Barbary macaques, I was the only one who represented our only north African and European primate. I chose to give an inspiring talk. Obviously I did talk about the bad shape that the populations of Barbary macaques are in, but I also wanted to inspire people to not give up, even when all odds are against you. We have been fighting for 8 years to convince the Moroccan authorities to take action and now we have a Conseravation Action Plan (CAP) ready to be executed in full support of the the Moroccan government. We still have a long way to go but this is a perfect starting point and frankly one I never expected to reach!
A well respected primatologist and colleague Prof. John Oates received the IPS lifetime achievement award. John has been fighting for the protection of West African primates for a very long time and in his speech he made a point about things that i fully agree on. The most important one was the fact that so many funds are always allocated towards the same species (apes for example, because they resemble humans so much and they are more “sexy”species for funding organisations). But in the meantime so much less
funds go to the less known or “sexy”species. He is right. We too experience this. Big organisations have literally called Barbary macaques “Non prioirty species” and North Africa a “Non priotiy region”! This is shocking to me, and I thank John for making a point of this.
I did not find any new funders and that is bad news for MPC and especially the Barbary macaque because we are running out of funds very fast right now. Let’s hope the world wakes up before it is too late!
You can also find all the blog posts on: http://mpcfoundation.nl/blog/
19 juni 2012
Volunteers needed in Spain this summer
Volunteers are needed from 1th to 16th July to help us to raise a awareness Campaign of the Illegal Trafficking of Barbary macaques!
Like former years, DEPANA, AAP, with BMCRif and MPC will start the "Paso del Estrecho” Campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness to all passengers in transit to Morocco of the importance of the Barbary macaques in their natural environment, as well as the unsuitability of these animals to keep as a pets. During these days of summer we need volunteers to distribute information and materials to all travelers crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from Algeciras and Tarifa ports.
If you like being in contact with people from different countries and environmental education, Paso del Estrecho Campaign may be a good place to also doing a very important job for the conservation of Barbary macaques. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org specifying availability and interests. It is necessary to commit a minimum of 3/5 days, but if you live in the are a may be less. Desirable to speak French, English and/or Arabic in addition to Castilian. Come and help!
We are happy to inform you that MPC has a new colleague on our team - Kristina Stazaker, who is setting up and running our new UK based MPC branch. MPC UK will focus on raising awareness and funds in the UK. Welcome Kristina. More news on this soon.
ARD - Documentary on Barbary macaques
MPC assisted the ARD German Public TV Wildlife Unit to film a documentary on Barbary macaques in Morocco, focused on the Central High Atlas and Middle Atlas populations. We were very unlucky with the weather but in the end we did manage to get some good footage.
13 maart 2012
National Conservation Action Plan for the Barbary macaque
MPC organised a very important meeting last October in Azrou together with the Moroccan ministry of Water and Forests inviting national and international experts to create a national conservation action plan for the Barbary macaque (PANSM) in Morocco.
The plan is almost finalized now and that is an amazing achievement. I have been working in Morocco on the conservation of the BM since 2004 and for years I felt that even though slowly things changed for the positive, that the issues I worked on would never get any priority. It is of course understandable that animal welfare and conservation are issues not high on the list of priority in a country that has so many other more pressing issues for the human population, but of course we have always tried to make people see that the loss of the Barbary macaque and its very important habitat would also have disastrous consequences for the local population, such as accelerating desertification and the loss of a very important fresh water supply for Morocco.
Personally I don't like to use human advantages to convince people why it is important that we conserve our natural environment and in particular species, because i think every living organism has the right to be on this planet without it having to serve a purpose for human beings. But I guess many of our own species just don't share the passion some of us have or have other more important issues to deal with.
For this reason I am extremely proud and pleased that we have reached the point where the Moroccan authorities and also a growing number of the Moroccan population are supporting our work.
The latest and hopefully final version has been edited and written by the Water and Forestry department themselves and it is looking really good. Soon we will be ready to start looking for partners and funders to start putting the plan into action. I am very excited and this is the most important moment I have reached in my 7 years of fighting for the conservation of this species, so you can all imagine that I am very happy!
17 februari 2012
10 februari 2012
27 januari 2012
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06 januari 2012
SPANA and MPC rescue a macaque during the meeting in Azrou
During the meeting in Azrou, an ex owner of a female Barbary macaque wanted to return a wild caught, captive held female macaque into the "tourist group" in Parc National d'Ifrane. Research assistants from the University of Lincoln managed to prevent this poor macaque from being hurt by this wild group and SPANA and MPC rescued their first Barbary macaque together in Morocco. For more information please visit our website:
23 oktober 2011
French customs seize 2 baby Barbary macaques!
On the 12th of August 2011 the French customs seized 2 baby Barbary macaques in France. They were bought in Morocco and smuggled in a cat carrier and their destination was the Netherlands. The 2 very young macaques have been taken to Zoo St Martin la Plaine in France, who have been taking many macaques from the illegal trade since 2009. MPC finds it is unacceptable that again 2 young macaques who were born in the wild now have a future in captivity. We need to keep fighting this!!