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Say hello to the original cheeky monkey! Highly gregarious and sociable, the Barbary macaque is the only species of macaque to have populations living outside Asia. It’s also famous for its ‘vestigial tail’. This means that, as the macaque has adapted over the centuries, its tail has gradually lost most of its functional use.

Troops of macaques can live in mixed groups of 10 to 100 monkeys and, unlike other types of macaque, male Barbary macaques share the parenting and help to rear their young, spending a significant amount of time playing with, and grooming, infants.

Wild populations of Barbary macaques have suffered a major decline in recent years. The monkeys are poached for bush meat and as live specimens to fuel the illegal pet trade. The habitat of the Barbary macaque is also under threat from increased logging activity.

Conservation status | Endangered

Fact Sheet

Scientific name

Macaca sylvanus






Up to 25 years for males and 30 years for females

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