No Monkeying around at CITES as Parties Vote for full Protection for Barbary macaques

No Monkeying around at CITES as Parties Vote for full Protection for Barbary mac
Wednesday, 28 September, 2016
Johannesburg, South Africa

IFAW welcomed the decision today by the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP 17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to give greater protection to Barbary macaques by transferring them from Appendix II to Appendix I – thus giving the species greater protection from international trade.

“This is a critical step in preventing a further decline in Barbary macaque populations,” says Rikkert Reijnen, Senior Project Lead, Wildlife Trade at IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare).

“The decision to uplist Barbary macaques to Appendix I was unanimously decided by all Parties. This is the second time today that we have seen the international community join together in the interests of a species in desperate need of help. Enacting strong, global regulations will make a real difference for these animals,” said Reijnen.

“Unfortunately the primates are used as pets in Europe, which is a nightmare for both the animal and the owner. The inclusion in Appendix I will more effectively protect them from poaching and illegal trade and also support ongoing conservation efforts in range countries.”

The Barbary macaque is a unique species. It is the only family member of the genus Macaca occurring in Africa and the only non-human primate which occurs north of the Sahara. It is also the only non-human primate living in Europe, where a small semi-wild population inhabits the Rock of Gibraltar in Europe’s most southwestern tip. An estimated 6,500 to 9,100 Barbary macaques are left in highly fragmented areas in Morocco and Algeria, with about 200 living on the Rock of Gibraltar.

While habitat fragmentation and loss are the main threats to the survival of the Barbary macaque, the illegal trade in live juvenile macaques for the international pet trade is also a significant danger to wild populations. The species has been categorised as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 2008 based on an estimated population decline exceeding 50 per cent over the last three generations (24 years). This decline is expected to continue.  

“Today’s decision will help Algeria and Morocco in their efforts to protect this unique species by strengthening domestic legislation and allowing for higher penalties in cases of poaching and illegal trade,” says Reijnen. “We are extremely happy that CITES parties recognized the threat Barbary macaques are facing and decided to act in favor of a species that is disappearing widely unnoticed.”


About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at


Post a comment

Press Contact

Christina Pretorius, IFAW South Africa
Contact phone:
+27 82 330 2558
Contact email:
Eleonora Panella, IFAW EU
Contact phone:
+32 2 237 60 52
Contact email:


Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy