Barbary macaque , Macaca sylvanus , also called magot , tailless ground-dwelling monkey that lives in groups in the upland forests of Algeria , Tunisia, Morocco , and Gibraltar. The Barbary macaque is about 60 cm 24 inches long and has light yellowish brown fur and a bald pale pink face. Adult males weigh about 16 kg 35 pounds , adult females 11 kg. The species was introduced into Gibraltar, probably by the Romans or the Moors. According to legend , British dominion over the Rock of Gibraltar will end only when this macaque is gone.

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The Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus , also known as Barbary ape or magot , [4] is a species of macaque unique for its distribution outside Asia. The Barbary macaque is of particular interest because males play an atypical role in rearing young. Because of uncertain paternity, males are integral to raising all infants.

Generally, Barbary macaques of all ages and sexes contribute in alloparental care of young. Macaque diets consist primarily of plants and insects and they are found in a variety of habitats. Males live to around 25 years old while females may live up to 30 years. Although the species is commonly referred to as the "Barbary ape", the Barbary macaque is actually a true monkey. Its name refers to the Barbary Coast of Northwest Africa.

The Barbary macaque population of Gibraltar is the only such population outside Northern Africa and the only population of wild monkeys in Europe. About macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar. The Barbary macaque was named by Carl Linnaeus in , along with numerous other species named in that same year. The scientific name is Macaca sylvanus. Studies concerning interspecific DNA variation within the genus Macaca show that the Barbary macaque is most related to the Asian macaques.

The monkey is yellowish-brown to grey with a lighter underside. The Barbary macaque has a mean body length of The front limbs of this monkey are longer than its hind limbs. Females are smaller than males. It is the only macaque species that is distributed outside Asia. It can live in a variety of habitats, such as cedar , fir , and oak forests, or grasslands , scrub, rocky ridges full of vegetation. Most Barbary macaques inhabit cedar forests currently in the Atlas Mountains, however, this could reflect the present habitat availability rather than a specific preference for this habitat.

The Barbary macaque is gregarious, forming mixed groups of several females and males. Troops can have 10 to individuals and are matriarchal , with their hierarchy determined by lineage to the lead female. In this way, a strong social bond is formed between males and juveniles, both the male's own offspring and those of others in the troop.

This may be a result of selectivity on the part of the females, who may prefer highly parental males. The mating season runs from November through March.

The gestation period is to days, and females usually have only one offspring per pregnancy. Females rear twins in rare instances.

Offspring reach maturity at three to four years of age, and may live for 20 years or more. Grooming other Barbary macaques leads to lower stress levels for the individuals that do the grooming. The mechanism for reducing stress may be explained by the social relationships and support that are formed by grooming. Male Barbary macaques interfere in conflicts and form coalitions with other males, usually with related males rather than with unrelated males.

These relationships suggest that males do so in order to indirectly increase their own fitness. Furthermore, males form coalitions with closely related kin more often than they do with distantly related kin. Although males are more likely to form coalitions with males who have helped them in the past, this is not as important as relatedness in determining coalitions.

Interactions between males are commonly initiated when a male presents an infant macaque to an adult male who is not caring for an infant, or when an unattached male approaches males who are caring for infants. This behaviour leads to a type of social buffering, which reduces the number of antagonistic interactions among males in a group. An open mouth display by the Barbary macaque is used most commonly by juvenile macaques as a sign of playfulness.

The main purpose of calls in Barbary macaques is to alert other group members to possible dangers such as predators. Barbary macaques can discriminate calls by individuals in their own group from those by individuals in other groups of conspecific macaques. Instead, minor variations in acoustic structure among groups similar to the vocal accommodation seen in humans are the likely cause. However, acoustic characteristics such as pitch and loudness are varied based on the vocalizations of individuals they associate with, and social situations play a role in the acoustic structure of calls.

Barbary macaque females have the ability to recognize their own offspring's calls through a variety of acoustic parameters. Mothers demonstrate different behaviours on hearing the calls of other infant macaques as opposed to the calls of their own offspring. Although Barbary macaques are sexually active at all points during a female's reproductive cycle, male Barbary macaques determine a female's most fertile period by sexual swellings on the female.

The swelling size of the female reaches a maximum around the time of ovulation, suggesting that size helps a male predict when he should mate. This is further supported by the fact that male ejaculation peaks at the same time that female sexual swelling peaks.

There is not a sufficient change in female sexual behaviour around the time of ovulation in order to demonstrate to the male that the female is fertile. The swellings, therefore, appear necessary for predicting fertility. Barbary macaque females differ from other non-human primates in that they often mate with a majority of the males in their social group. While females are active in choosing sexual associations, the mating behaviour of macaque social groups is not entirely determined by female choice.

In order for a male to ensure his reproductive success, he must maximize his time spent around the females in the group during their fertile periods. Injuries to male macaques peaks during the fertile period, which points to male-male competition as an important determinant of male reproductive success. Unlike other macaques where most parental care comes from the mother, Barbary macaques from all age and sex groups participate in alloparental care of infants.

Male care of infants has been of particular interest to research because high levels of care from males is uncommon in groups where paternity is highly uncertain. Males even act as true alloparents of infant macaques by carrying them and caring for them for hours at a time as opposed to just demonstrating more casual interactions with the infants. Female social status plays a role in female alloparental interactions with infants. Higher ranking females have more interactions whereas younger, lower ranking females have less access to infants.

The diet of the Barbary macaque consists of a mixture of plants and insect prey. Almost every part of the plant is eaten, including flowers, fruits, seeds, seedlings, leaves, buds, bark, gum, stems, roots, bulbs, and corns. Barbary macaques can cause major damage to the trees in their prime habitat, the Atlas cedar forests in Morocco.

Since deforestation in Morocco has become a major environmental problem in recent years, research has been conducted to determine the cause of the bark stripping behaviour demonstrated by these macaques. Cedar trees are also vital to this population of Barbary macaques as an area with cedars can support a much higher density of macaques than one without them. A lack of a water source and exclusion of monkeys from water sources are major causes of cedar bark stripping behaviour in Barbary macaques.

Density of macaques, however, is less correlated with the behaviour than the other causes considered. Their main predators are leopards , eagles , and domestic dogs.

Wild populations of Barbary macaques have suffered a major decline in recent years to the point of being declared an endangered species on the IUCN Red List in This species is also poached for live specimens as pets in the illegal pet trade, and for clandestine collectors.

Today, no accurate data exist on the location and number of individuals out of their habitat. An unknown number of individuals are included in zoological collections, at other institutions, in private hands, in storage, or waiting to be relocated to appropriate destinations.

The habitat of the Barbary macaque is under threat from increased logging activity. Once common throughout northern Africa and southern Europe, only an estimated 12, to 21, Barbary macaques are left in Morocco and Algeria. Their range is no longer continuous, with only isolated areas of range remaining.

The Barbary macaque is threatened by habitat loss, overgrazing and illegal capture. In Morocco, tourists interact with Barbary macaques in many regions. Information collected in the interviews with inhabitants in the High Atlas of Morocco indicated that the capture of macaques occurs in these regions.

Conflict between local people and wild macaques is one of the greatest challenges to Barbary macaque conservation in Morocco. The main threats to the survival of Barbary macaques in this region have been found to be habitat destruction and the impact of livestock grazing, but there are also increasing problems of conflict with inhabitants due to crop raiding and the illegal capture of macaques.

One study [ which? In the High Atlas of Morocco, macaques attract a large number of tourists every year, and they are favourable for their potential benefits to tourism. In addition, macaques have some ecological roles, for example they are the predators of several destructive insects and pests of plants and participate in seed dispersal in many plant species. In a study, researchers reported that they found Barbary macaques in relatively small and fragmented habitats in 10 sites, and that the species no longer occurred in four localities.

This could be attributed to habitat degradation, hunting activities, the impact of livestock grazing, and disturbance by people. As deforestation for agriculture and overgrazing continues, the remaining forest becomes increasingly fragmented.

Consequently, the Barbary macaque is now restricted to small, fragmented relict habitats. Many of the mistaken ideas about human anatomy contained in the writings of Galen are apparently due to his use of these animals, the only anthropoid available to him, in dissections. Macaques in Morocco are frequently used as photo props, despite their protected status. Macaques are also sold as pets in Morocco and Algeria and exported to Europe to be used as pets and fighting monkeys, both in physical marketplaces and online.

Tourists interact with wild monkeys across the globe and in some situations tourists may be encouraged to feed, photograph and touch the monkeys. Although tourism has the potential to bring money in towards conservation goals and provides an incentive for the protection of natural habitats, close proximity and interactions with tourists can also have significant psychological impacts on the Barbary macaque.

Fecal samples and stress-indicating behaviours, such as belly scratching, indicate that the presence of tourists has a negative impact on the macaques. Human activities such as taking photographs cause the animals stress, possibly because the people come too close to the animals and make prolonged eye contact a sign of aggression in many primates. Macaques that live in areas close to human contact have more parasites and lower overall health than those that live in wilder environments, at least in part due to the unhealthy diets they receive as a result of feeding from humans.

Several groups of Barbary macaques can be found in tourist sites, where they are affected by the presence of visitors providing food to them. Researchers comparing two such groups in the central High Atlas mountains in found that the tourist group of Barbary macaques spent significantly more time engaged in resting and aggressive behaviour, and foraged and moved significantly less than the wild group. The tourist group spent significantly less time per day feeding on herbs, seeds and acorns than the wild group.

The percentage of daily time spent in foraging and moving was lowest in spring, and the daily time spent in resting was highest in spring and summer. The time budget devoted to aggressive display was highest in spring than the other three seasons.

There is an increase in the daily feeding time spent eating flowers and fruits in summer, seeds, acorns, roots and barks in winter and autumn, herbs in spring and summer, and a clear increase in consumption of the human food in spring.

There was no significant difference between the two groups in the proportion of terrestrial feeding records spent eating fruits; but the tourist group had lower daily percentages of terrestrial feeding on leaves, seeds and acorns, roots and barks, and herbs, while it spent higher daily percentages of terrestrial feeding on human food.


Barbary macaque

The Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus , also known as Barbary ape or magot , [4] is a species of macaque unique for its distribution outside Asia. The Barbary macaque is of particular interest because males play an atypical role in rearing young. Because of uncertain paternity, males are integral to raising all infants. Generally, Barbary macaques of all ages and sexes contribute in alloparental care of young.


Barbary Ape

Macaca sylvanus Barbary Ape is a species of primates in the family Old World monkeys. It is found in the Palearctic. It is a diurnal frugivore. Individuals are known to live for months and can grow to Reproduction is dioecious. Barbary Ape Macaca sylvanus Linnaeus

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