Barbary ape, Rock ape, Magot
The unique Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) are the only primates, occurring north of the Sahara in Africa. In addition, these animals are the only macaques, found outside of Asia. As highly adaptable creatures, they are capable of surviving in various environments and temperatures from fir and mixed oak forests to sheer cliffs. Moreover, the Barbary macaques are among the few monkeys, inhabiting cold and snowy regions. They are communal foragers, looking for food both terrestrially and in trees.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
Scansorial animals are those that are adapted to or specialized for climbing. Many animals climb not only in tress but also in other habitats, such...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Barbary macaque has a dark pink face with a pale buff to golden brown to grey pelage and a lighter underside. The color of mature adults changes with age. In adults and subadults, the fur on the back is variegated pale and dark which is due to banding on individual hairs. In spring to early summer, as the temperatures rise, the adult macaques molt their thick winter fur. The species shows sexual dimorphism with males larger than females. The boneless vestigial tail is greatly reduced compared with other macaque species and, if not absent, measures 4-22 mm (0.16-0.87 in).
The natural range of these primates covers the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco in North Africa. The Barbary monkeys have also been introduced from Morocco to Gibraltar, where these animals currently occur in a small population. They are most commonly found in high-altitude mountains, rocky cliffs, and gorges. The ideal habitat of this species is cedar forest, although the animals often inhabit mixed forests of cedar and holm-cork oak, pure oak forests, shrubby rock outcrops along coasts as well as grasslands, found at low elevations within their range.
Barbary macaques are generally active during the daytime hours, sleeping at night in single-sex clusters of 2-3 macaques. Most of their active time is spent traveling and looking for food. The Barbary macaques are highly social animals, gathering in groups of up to 59 individuals with an average of 24. These troops contain individuals of both sexes with equal proportions. Both males and females have their separate hierarchies. Females form strictly matrilineal hierarchies, where each individual is specifically ranked. Meanwhile, the social system of males is somewhat looser. In addition, males of this species are less aggressive than females. Mutual grooming is a common activity in these primates. It's an important part of their life, which helps remove parasites and reduce stress as well as enhances interpersonal relationships between members of a group. About half of all communication between conspecifics contains aggressive behavior. However, the Barbary macaques are more peaceful animals, than most primates.
Barbary macaques are omnivorous animals, typically consuming leaves, roots, and fruit. They supplement this diet with occasional insects, caterpillars, frogs, and tadpoles.
Barbary macaques have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system, where individuals of both sexes have numerous mates. They breed in November-December and produce offspring in April-June. A single infant is born after a gestation period of 158-170 days. The Barbary macaques are known to practice cooperative breeding, which means that all members of the troop take care of newborn babies. Weaning occurs at about 1 year old. The age of reproductive maturity is 4.5-7 years old in males and 2.5-4 years old in females, after which the latter continue living with their natal troop, whereas the former have to disperse.
One of the biggest threats to the overall population of Barbary macaques is the loss of their original range as a result of hunting, logging, and expansion of human settlements. The population in Algeria suffers from wildfires, livestock grazing, and the collection of young macaques as domestic pets. Those in Morocco are threatened by logging, overgrazing, and drought. In addition, Moroccan forestry authorities even consider selective slaughter of these animals due to their habit of stripping tree bark.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Barbary macaque total population size. According to Wikipedia resource, there are only 12,000 to 21,000 individuals left in Morocco and Algeria. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers today are decreasing.
As herbivorous animals, the Barbary macaques serve as key seed dispersers of their mountainous range. In addition, these primates are prey species for many local predators.