21 augustus 2008


International Primatological Society meeting

Two weeks ago I attended the IPS meeting in Edinburgh, where i also gave a presentation on the work we have been doing lately and on the status of the Barbary macaque. It was nice to finally meet my colleague Sian Waters who works on Barbary macaques in the Rif mountains, and it made me realise that I am lucky that I work in a more accessible area than she does. Apparently Sian's situation is a lot harder as "her" macaques are very wary of people and hard to spot, and the cliffs and mountains prevent her from being able to do easy census work.

It was great seeing lots of my colleagues again, and to be inspired by people around the world who are doing similar work in different primate species. I was happy I was there to inform my colleagues that the Barbary macaque is also not doing well. To make a concerning comparison: there are 6500 Sumatran Orangutans left in the wild; this is more than Barbary macaques in Morocco. Not many people realise that this species is becoming endangered. This is mainly due to the fact that it should not be necessary. The Barbary macaque is a strong and adaptable species, but when the threats and pressure keep continuing, even this species cannot cope.

Soon my next publication on the status of the Barbary macaque in the Middle Atlas will be published in Oryx. We will try and make a press statement when this happens, to inform the public.

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