Category Archives: Blogspot

Fieldwork in Parc National d’Ifrane


Tomorrow Manon, Kris and Tomos (volunteers and research assistants) and myself will be off to Morocco to spend a month in the field conducting research on the wild Barbary macaque population in the Ifrane National Park. We will collect data on the density of the macaques, the numbers of livestock and also on the degradation and regeneration of the forest area. It will be great to be back in the field. This survey is sponsored by the Dutch Zoo Conservation Fund and is in cooperation with Institut Scientifique in Rabat.

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Local team stops poaching of a young macaque!


The fossil sellers, as we call our local friends of MPC in the Ifrane National Park have yet again stopped the poaching of a young macaque last week. August is the peak of the poaching season. Sandra Molesti, a PhD student from the University of Lincoln said:

” I was at the tourist site today to work on my experiment when I heard the monkeys alarm calling and screaming. I ran there and there were two people trying to catch a baby with food and their hands (so not really professional). They have been chased away by the fossil sellers and the people who rent out horses. Apparently they are known and it was not the first time they tried on this group. People told me that they are poor people who catch a monkey on command for usually foreign buyers (e.g. French people etc). Thus apparently they are some demands now so certainly some people are trying to catch infants”.
Although this is disturbing news, MPC is extremely happy to see that our local friends are working hard to fight the poachers!

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Ignorant people


Lately I have noticed a something that really disturbs me a lot.

Recently we have been active at a few fundraising activities, in which we first explain what MPC stands for and then ask people if they would like to donate a small amount to our foundation or if they want to buy for example merchanidise to support us. But, and this is really shocking, we sometimes don’t even get the chance to explain what we do after we mention the word “Morocco” , because people just react directly by saying “NO” the moment they hear the word Morocco. This shocks me every time this happens….!!

A friend of mine who runs a Nail Beauty parlor in quite an upscale area in Amsterdam tried to raise some funds with her clients for MPC but the moment she mentioned the word Morocco they said no. They said that they did not want to give anything to Moroccans and that they don’t trust that their money will arrive to the place that it should. Even when she explained that it was for the monkeys, they already closed their ears and looked the other way.

I cannot believe this. I think it is appalling that people in Holland are so short sighted. It is very intriguing that people donate millions of Euro’s without thinking twice to a country like Somalia – a country that has been the most anarchistic, criminal shithole (excuse my French) place on earth run by warlords and corrupt idiots who let their people starve to death – and people donate what? 17 million now in Holland? Incredible. Really incredible….

What disturbs me the most is that people obviously have no idea about Morocco (my second home and one of the most beautiful and safest countries I have ever been), about Moroccan people (who are more warm, sharing and caring than most western people I have met in my life) and are incapable of making a difference between the small percentage of nasty Moroccan boys who are causing trouble in our country and millions of good people that we can learn from in our society!

Wow Holland, we used to be so tolerant. Now we are just ignorant!

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Popular Moroccan actress Nabila Marhaben ambassador MPC!


The ambitious and very popular Moroccan actress Nabila Marhaben is the new ambassador of the Moroccan Primate Conservation foundation. Nabila was born in Purmerend, in the Netherlands and is currently starring in a tremendously popular sitcom Yak Hna Jirane (The Neighbours) broadcasted throughout the Arab countries. Every episode is viewed by 35 million people and Nabila has millions of Moroccan fans. Recently Nabila and MPC made a visit to the wild Barbary macaques in Cascades d’Ouzoud and also the baby macaques that are for sale in Marrakech. Nabila was extremely touched to spend time with the wild macaques and was very upset to see that so many baby macaques are taken away from their mothers every year to be sold for the illegal pet trade (ed: 300- to 500 a year). “Now I have seen the macaques in the wild, I support the work of MPC even more. These unique endangered animals belong in the wild, in the beautiful nature of Morocco. Monkeys are not pets, they should never end up in cages”, says Nabila. MPC is starting a large social media campaign with help of Nabila’s popularity this summer to inform the tourists and visitors in Morocco to not buy macaques or other wildlife during their stay in Morocco. MPC is very happy to have such a dedicated Moroccan ambassador working with us! For more information about Nabila:

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Survey in the EU on BM trade


MPC is currently conducting a survey that is initiated by MPC and AAP and funded by AAP. The survey is focused on monitoring the the illegal trade in Barbary macaques in the EU over the last 5 years. This will be the 3rd survey of its kind. It is important to keep track of any increase or decrease in the trade to measure the effects of our combined efforts and to keep informing and motivating the authorities in both Europe and Morocco. The Brigitte Bardot Foundaton in France, Depana in Spain and LAV in Italy are assisting us to gather as much data as possible. The final report will be available after the survey is completed.

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Volunteers needed for this summer!


July will be a very important month for the Barbary macaques!.
Barcelona ZOO and DEPANA – League for protecting natural heritage, in cooperation with AAP and help of BMCRif and MPC are going to start the Paso del Esrecho Campaign (from 1st to 17th July)
This campaign aims to raise awareness to all passengers in transit to Morocco about the importance of the Barbary macaques in their natural environment, as well as the
unsuitability of keeping these animals as pets. During this month we need volunteers to distribute information and materials to all travelers crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from Algeciras’s port.
If you like being in contact with people from different countries and environmental education, Paso del Estrecho Campaign may be a good place, while also doing a very important job for the conservation of Barbary macaques. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, contact us via c specifying availability and interests. It is necessary to commit a minimum of 5 days, but if you live in the area it can be less.
Accommodation and food is covered, and if you have a car that is welcome. For the public target it is necessary to speak at least English and basic French and/or Arabic, and it is useful if you speak Spanish. COME AND HELP US!

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Survey in the EU and new Moroccan partner


MPC is currently conducting a survey that is initiated by MPC and AAP and funded by AAP. The survey is focused on monitoring the the illegal trade in Barbary macaques in the EU over the last 5 years. This will be the 3rd survey of its kind. It is important to keep track of any increase or decrease in the trade to measure the effects of our combined efforts and to keep informing and motivating the authorities in both Europe and Morocco. The Brigitte Bardot Foundaton in France, Depana in Spain and LAV in Italy are assisting us to gather as much data as possible. The final report will be available after the survey is completed.

New Moroccan partner
MPC is very pleased to announce that we have recently started a partnership SPANA (Society for the Protection of ANimals Abroad/ Societé pour la Protection des Animaux et la Nature) in Morocco. For years SPANA has been working in Morocco on the protection of domestic animals in need and they have 10 professional shelters/ educational centers / veterinary facilities throughout Morocco where they help donkeys, mules, horses, cats, dogs and any animal that is in need of care ( They also manage the natural reserve Sidi Boughaba just north of Rabat. Also SPANA is doing outstanding work in the nature education of children in Morocco.

MPC and SPANA are currently working on a plan with the Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Fôrets to create a solution for confiscated macaques in Morocco. MPC could not wish for a better local partner. More on this soon.

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Barbary macaques seized in Spain


During Operation GAPIN, an international enforcement initiative co-ordinated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), more than 100 seizures of wildlife protected by CITES were made during the 2 week transregional operation in January and February to combat the illegal cross-border trade in wildlife and their derivatives.
Also a Barbary macaque was confiscated from a car that was on the ferry arriving from Morocco to Algeciras. This monkey was supposed to be smuggled to France.

A second macaque was confiscated from a private home in La Linea near Gibraltar last month.

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Spring is in the air


I am in the plane on my way back from Morocco, where I spent a a few days in the forest. It is birth season again and when I was there quite a few infants have been born already. But the births go all the way through June so hopefully there are many more to follow.

As always, I was very pleased to be in the forest. It is such a beautiful region, especially in spring time. Unfortunately this year there was not much snowfall and that means that it might be a very dry summer this year. That is not good news for the animals that live in the forest. Hopefully this month will still bring some rain.
I am happy to inform you that our local colleagues in the forest, that work with MPC to protect the macaques have done an amazing job in the last year fighting the poachers through the authorities with results that I are beyond my expectations. I will write more on this soon. For MPC it is amazing to see how people, who in the past used to be involved in the trade of macaques have now become macaque guards, who actively work with us and hopefully in the future will make our work unnecessary. I am so very proud of this team, with emphasis on one person in particular who I will not name for safety reasons. I am convinced that we will see the results of their efforts this year.
There are so many exciting things happening at the moment, not just for the macaques but also for MPC. So keep an eye on the website or this blog, there’s some good news coming up!

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Macaque confiscated in private home in La Linea, Spain


Retiran de una vivienda de La Línea un mono salvaje adoptado como mascota por una familia

Sábado 26 de Febrero de 2011 12:18

La Policía Local de La Línea de la Concepción y el Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza (Seprona) de la Guardia Civil han procedido a la retirada de un primate que tenían como mascota una familia en una vivienda de la localidad linense.

Según ha indicado el Ayuntamiento de La Línea en un comunicado, los hechos tuvieron lugar después de que en las dependencias de la Policía Local se tuviese conocimiento, mediante denuncia de vecinos, de que en un domicilio una familia tenía un primate adoptado como mascota.

Tras personarse los agentes de ambos cuerpos en el domicilio y comprobar la veracidad de lo comunicado, se contactó con la propietaria de la vivienda, quien tras ser informada sobre los extremos recogidos en el Decreto 42/2008, de 12 de febrero, por el que se regula la tenencia de animales potencialmente peligrosos en la comunidad autónoma de Andalucía, y la prohibición de tener como mascotas animales salvajes, optó por donarlo a un zoológico próximo a la zona, tras sugerencia de los agentes.

Así, los miembros del Seprona aportaron los medios necesarios para trasladar al animal, que corresponde exactamente a la especie macaca sylvanus, también llamada mono de berbería y mona rabona.

Según señalan, se trata de una especie de primate catarrino de la familia cercopithecidae. Es el único primate, aparte del hombre, que puede encontrarse actualmente en libertad en Europa, y el único miembro del género macaca que vive fuera de Asia.
Fuente: Europa Press

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You can also make a one-off donation to our cause if you would like to help us in saving the macaques! Please click on the currency you wish to use below.

If you wish to do a one-off donation, but cannot use the links please transfer your donation to account number 390469130. (IBAN: NL94TRIO 0390469130 and BIC/ SWIFT: TRIONL2U). Please put your email address in the subject of your transfer so that we can contact you.

the Idea


Stichting Moroccan Primate Conservation/
Moroccan Primate Conservation foundation
Van Hogendorpstraat 68E,
1051 BS, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31(0)644787261 /

About us

MPC is an NGO that has successfully worked on the conservation of the endangered Barbary macaque in Morocco since 2003. MPC is the official partner of the Moroccan government for the protection of this unique species. 

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