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Sian Waters - BMAC UK
14 Lindsay Gardens, Tredegar, Gwent NP22 $RP

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The Shepherd Outreach Programme

One of the main groups of people that sees and interacts with Barbary macaques in Bouhachem is shepherds, and we have always included them in our work by asking them to share their knowledge about the macaques’ whereabouts and behaviour.  This contact with the shepherds revealed that they did not value the macaques and indeed the younger ones spent some of their time actively persecuting and killing the monkeys.

However, as we built trust with this group, their thoughts about the macaques began to change and they now call us if they see anything unusual regarding the macaques, or indeed if they haven’t seen us for some time.

This change in attitude means that young men and boys from five villages have now voluntarily stopped persecuting the macaques. Some now take fewer livestock guarding dogs in to the forest so they can control them better if they begin to harass the macaques, and two have rescued infant macaques left on the forest floor during dog attacks.

The team talking to shepherds in Bouhachem

The BMAC team talking to shepherds in Bouhachem. Photograph by Andrew Walmsley.