In November GEA and WWF MedPO organised a training for local NGO's and employees of the forestry department in Azrou, Morocco. This team organised a similar training in 2003 and this year we noticed a very positive change within this group of people when it comes to attitude towards Barbary macaque conservation.
In 2003 the general idea was that the macaques were in too large numbers and were killing the forest. But this year, the group acknowledged that the Barbary macaque is not doing well at all, and that the forest needs immediate protection for it to survive. Gea's team (Camperio Ciani) had just spent 2 months in the field conducting new surveys and their data are shocking. Only 2500 left in the Middle Atlas. This is shocking news.
I myself did a lecture on the illegal trade and asked the team to provide me with solutions, which they actively did.
We went into the field twice, first to provide the group with general information and a second day to teach them how to do transects.
It was a very succesful training to my opinion and i applaud Gea's team for their accomplishment. It is trully time for action now. We cannot wait much longer, this species will be wiped out of Morocco very soon if we don't take action now.