Introduction to the Barbary Macaques


The Barbary Macaque belongs to the old world monkeys, and is mistakenly referred to as Barbary or Rock “Ape”. Although it lacks a tail, it is a true monkey. The males are large, reaching over a metre in length, with strong features including long canine teeth and powerful jaws. Females are slightly smaller and less muscular. Mating occurs during the late autumn and winter with young born in late spring and summer after a gestation period of about five months. These are social animals that usually live in groups of 10-40 individuals and feed on a variety of plant shoots, fruit and roots and small invertebrates.

The population of Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar was 248 individuals in January 2006 (Perez, 2006). They are mainly distributed in six groups within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, although some foraging occurs outside the boundaries of the Reserve. 

Perez, C.E. (2006). Biodiversity Action Plan, Gibraltar: Planning for Nature. The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society. Gibraltar.