Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Barbary macaques given full protection against international trade

30 September 2016

Categories: Homepage News, Primates Campaign News, Wildlife Trade News

Born Free Foundation has welcomed the decision taken at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, to ban all international commercial trade in barbary macaques.

The species is the only African primate living north of the Sahara, the only primate species living wild in Europe (Gibraltar), and the only macaque outside of Asia. Populations in its remaining Moroccan strongholds declined by more than half over the 24 years (three macaque generations) to 2008 when the status of the species was last assessed for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List. As few as 6,500 barbary macaques now cling on in the wild.

While loss of habitat presents a major threat to the future of barbary macaques, at least 200 animals are being taken from the wild each year for the tourist photo-prop trade, and for the exotic pet trade in Europe where they sell for over €2,000 each. The European Union reported seizures of 72 live animals between 2007-2013, and illegal trade in live macaques in Serbia, Russia and the Ukraine has been reported.

Born Free’s Associate Director Mark Jones said: “International trade in barbary macaques clearly needed to be banned, in order to help protect the remaining wild populations. It was good to see unanimous support for the listing of the species on CITES Appendix I from all CITES Parties, endorsing the joint proposal from Morocco and the European Union. More than 500 requests for rescue centres to take live macaques have been made this century in Europe; we hope the decision by CITES will help stem the tide and ensure that barbary macaques stay where they belong – in the wild.”

Born Free Foundation worked with AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection in the Netherlands and other colleagues within the Species Survival Network’s Primate Working Group to secure the support of the Gibraltarian government for the proposal, which was key to obtaining the endorsement of the UK government.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
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