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Wildlife Park backs appeal for ‘at risk’ Barbary Macaques after Morocco fires

Photo by Johnny Bugeja. A Barbary macaque on the Rock of Gibraltar.

The Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park (AWCP) is supporting an appeal which raises funds for ‘at risk’ Barbary macaques and communities in Morocco after recent fires.

The fires have put the population of the macaques at even greater risk, bringing the species ever closer to being critically endangered.

Donations will be handed to the Barbary Macaque Awareness and Conservation Project, which is based in Morocco.

Jessica Leaper, manager at the park told the Chronicle about the vital role donations can play.

“Their work is helping to raise awareness about the plight of the Barbary macaque, that it’s an endangered species, that there are fewer in the wild, the threats to their habitat, the threats to their populations as well,” Ms Leaper said.

“We’ve been raising awareness on their behalf for many years.”

She explained how the group needs donations now more than ever after a catastrophic fire.

She said the AWCP is looking to raise “as much as possible” for the cause, after having already donated a £1,500 emergency fund. 

Donations will also go towards regenerating what has been destroyed by the fire, such as education centres and communities.

“It’s crucial. Not only is it the species, but the communities as well surrounding that area.”

“Hundreds” of macaques have already been lost to the blaze, after a recent survey showed that the macaque population in the area was “recovering”.

“Now we’ve got a massive setback, which is going to make the populations lower than they were even before the work started,” Ms Leaper said.

“We might be moving into the realms of critically endangered.”

The organisation faces different additional pressures, such as the pet trade, and the selling of animal props.

Donations can be made online to the Alameda Wildlife Conversation Park.