BMAC - Macaque Awareness

Link to the wild

To protect the Endangered Barbary Macaque, stop their inclusion in the illegal pet trade, and preserve their natural habitat. 

The Project

Funding the conservation work of BMAC, with the long-term aim of vanquishing the Moroccan Barbary Macaque "photo-prop" trade through the education of local people.

The Target

Macaques are incredibly adaptable animals. They live in a range of habitats from snowy Japan to the northern African coast. The Barbary Macaque, found in Morocco, Algeria and Gibraltar, is now classified as an endangered species by the IUCN. This is due to an increase in demand of them being bought and used as pets and performers. Wild numbers are estimated at 8,000 – 10, 000, but continue to fall.

Barbary Macaques are a highly social species who live in groups of 30 to 80 individuals. They forage both in trees and on the ground, spending a great deal of time grooming which allows close bonds to form between individuals. Both males and females share the care and responsibility of their young, emphasising the importance of family relationships.

 Imagine, therefore, the trauma and grief of a young Barbary Macaque being torn away from family to be sold in to the pet trade. These animals are not domestic pets – they belong in the wild. While not posing and performing for their owners they are kept in small, confined boxes, more often than not, alone.


The BMAC project rehabilitates and releases wild macaques, supports authorities in wildlife confiscations, and educates the local Moroccans on the importance of saving this rare and inquisitive species. Education campaigns are also run in an attempt to encourage Moroccan tourists to not have their photo taken with macaques. Data is consistently being gathered in an attempt to show the world what a huge impact the photo prop trade is having on wild species of animals.

Blair Drummond helps fund the work of BMAC staff in Morocco and Algeria, allowing them to purchase the much-needed kit which enables them to keep monitoring and protecting wild Barbary Macaques, thus safe guarding the future of the species. 

Where your money goes

Tétouan, Northern Morocco

Project Leader

Lisa - Head of Pets Farm

We have chosen to continue to support the essential work of BMAC to continue the fight against the illegal pet trade in Barbary Macaques and their use as photo props for tourists. These animals are taken from the forests and their families. BMAC helps educate the local communities, rescues and rehabilitates and in some cases is even able to return these macaques back to the wild.

Common name
Barbary macaque
Scientific name
Macaca sylvanus
Morocco, Algeria, Gibraltar
Approx. 22 years in the wild
Fast facts
• Apart from humans, Barbary macaques are the only native species of primate to occur in Europe!
• Trade in Barbary macaques is illegal, with the keeping of any primates as pets being completely banned in 11 EU states, as well as Morocco and Algeria
• Troops typically number about 40 macaques, but they can hold as many as 100!
• Male Barbary macaques help females care for babies and will groom and play with them
Conservation status
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