When crossing the Middle Atlas in Morocco, we had some fabulous hours, watching and photographing a troop of about 30 Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus) in the cedar forest “Cèdre Gouraud” near Azrou. The animals were extremely confiding, being fed by local people and tourists stopping en route.
Barbary Macaque, the only Macaque living outside Asia, is restricted to some declining populations in Morocco and Algeria and is listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN 1. The Middle Atlas holds the largest and most important population 2 and a growing population of unknown origin inhabits the Rock of Gibraltar 3.
It was a joy to watch these peculiar animals in their natural environment and to observe their interactions. Still, the monkeys are allegedly being caught and sold as pets. At Jamaa el Fna, the huge central market place in Marrakech, we saw several young, chained Barbary Macaques which were shown to tourists for money.
The gallery got quite big, I know.. I just wasn’t able to throw out more pictures of the selection.