Saving the Barbary macaque is not just about saving a beautiful species. Saving the Barbary macaque and its habitats means saving the forests of the Middle Atlas, which provides Morocco with 40% of its water supply. The Middle Atlas is often referred to as “the castle of water”. Apart from water, the forest provides for wood, lichens, grazing lands, charcoal, and an extremely beautiful rich ecosystem that is unique in the world. The Barbary macaque is an indicator of a healthy forest, and a symbol of Morocco’s wide range of biodiversity. Its diverse habitats contain many rare, endemic and endangered animal and plant species, the best known being the Barbary macaque. The disappearance of the Barbary macaque and its habitat would mean the disappearance of a pristine wild area and one of the unique primate species of the world.
Moreover, the Barbary macaque plays a very important role in the health of the forest, by dispersing seeds, resulting in regeneration of the trees and also controlling insects. The survival of the Barbary macaque and the protection of its habitat will ensure the quality of life of many people living in and close to the area. Economic benefits derived from especially Parc National d’Ifrane include tourism, subsistence wood, agriculture, and water resources.