Barbary Macaque (Macaca slyvanus)


General Information

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca

The Barbary Macaque belongs to the family of old world monkeys. They have a dark brown, gray or yellow coat and a pink face. The Barbary Macaque has a very strong jaw and long canine teeth, a physical characteristic all species of macaque exhibit. Males have an average body length of 55-70 cm, females tend to be smaller than males with an average body length of 45-55cm.

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 10.02.03 AM.png

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 9.59.13 AM.png

The Barbary Macaque differs from other macaque species because it is the only macaque located outside of Asia. The yellow areas on the map to the left show where most Barbary Macaques are located in northern Africa. They are native to Algeria and Morocco, some used to be located in Tunisia but they are now regionally extinct in that area. The Barbary Macaque can be found in the Rif Mountains and Atlas Mountains in Morocco. In addition to being located in Northern Africa a very small amount of Barbary Macaques were introduced to Gibraltar. The map on the right shows that Gibraltar is located directly north of Morocco. The Barbary Macaques located in Gibraltar are unique because they are the only primates located in Europe besides humans.

Why are Barbary Macaques Endangered?

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 10.22.46 AM.png

An estimated 6,000-10,000 Barbary Macaques remain throughout Algeria and Morocco. The small population living in Gibraltar is estimated to be around 160. Excessive logging and clearing land for agriculture are two contributing factors towards the decreasing population trends in Barbary Macaques. The destruction of their natural habitat is the Barbary Macaque's largest threat. Much of the land they live on has been cleared for cultivation and overgrazing of sheep herds. Resources are very limited for the Barbary Macaque and they also have to compete for water with the sheep that did not originally live in their habitat. Another threat for the Barbary Macaque is live trade. Individuals are captured and taken from the wild for the international pet trade. On average about 300 infant Barbary Macaques are captured and sold or placed in zoo per year. A small amount of legislation in Morocco is in place to try to protect the Barbary Macaque, but most of the time it is not enforced. The legislation states that a maximum of 100 Barbary Macaques can be traded each year, although the live trades per year always exceed 100. Some of the Barbary Macaque habitats are located in national parks in Algeria and Morocco, which protects the groups living in those areas. Additionally several awareness groups have been established within the past ten years to educate and help reduce live trade. These groups are located in Morocco and Algeria, both with a common goal of reducing live trade of the Barbary Macaque.

Behavior and Social Interactions


The Barbary Macaque is a social animal. They live in packs of anywhere from 12 to 60, the average number in a pack is about 24. The mating patterns of the Barbary Macaque are interesting, females mate with all of the males in their pack. The males never know the paternity of their offspring which results in them to look after multiple babies; they groom, protect, and play with all younger members of the pack. The males take these responsibilities to ensure the offspring survive. Relationships much like a friendship can be formed between members of the pack. Barbary Macaques can maintain a friendship by grooming each other. In addition to friendly social interactions there can also be conflict with a pack. Barbary Macaque males tend to have more conflicts and fights than females. The videos below show some common social interactions between Barbary Macaques.

ARKive video - Barbary macaques fighting

ARKive video - Adult Barbary macaque grooming infant

To Learn More Visit these Websites:

Works Cited
"Barbary Macaque (Macaca Sylvanus)." Barbary Macaque Videos, Photos and Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

"Barbary Macaques." Barbary Macaques. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

"Edinburgh Zoo." Barbary Macaque. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

"Macaca Sylvanus." (Barbary Ape, Barbary Macaque). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

By: Maddie Warntz