Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gibraltar Barbary Macaques

The  Barbary  macaque (Macaca Sylvanus) is a macaque without tail, as one of the best-known Old World monkey species. The Barbary macaque is true monkey, not an ape, belong to the subfamily Cercopithecinae. This species found in Algeria, Morocco and Gibraltar.

The Barbary macaques are the only free-ranging monkeys in Europe. Gibraltar Post proudly to launched the stamp series feature this species on September 28, 2011. The issue consist of 6 single postage stamps .

The Barbary macaque is a large monkey with a silky grey to brown or yellow coat and a dark pink face. Males are larger than females, though in appearance they are very similar.

They have powerful jaws, long canine teeth, and cheek pouches beside the lower teeth that extend down the sides of the neck. These pouches are used to store food when foraging and are able to hold a volume of food as large as the stomach.



At least 20 different macaque species are known and the macaque genus is characterized by its diversity.The Barbary macaque, has no tail , meanwhile the long-tailed macaque from Indonesia has a tail longer than its body. Between these extremes, all intermediate stages can be found. They have also developed diverse ecological adaptations. Macaques are found in more climates and habitats than any other primate except humans.



Wild populations of  Barbary macaques have suffered a major decline in recent years and declared as an endangered species by the IUCN in 2009 .

Three-quarters of the world population are located in the Middle Atlas Mountains. Its habitat is restricted to rocky areas with sparse vegetation which are unsuitable for agriculture. The populations are isolated and increasingly inbred, with the risks this situation creates. The species is listed globally as vulnerable, and is declining.


The Barbary macaque dwells in forests of cedar, pine, and oak at elevations of 2,100 m above sea level or more.It is a diurnal animal, dividing its time more or less equally between  arboreal  and terrestrial territory. Mostly herbivorous, this monkey feeds on leaves, roots, and fruit, but will also eat insects.


The Barbary macaque is gregarious, forming mixed groups of several females and males; the troop of 10 to 100 individuals is matriarchal, with its hierarchy determined by lineage to the lead female.The mating season runs from November through March. The monkeys reach maturity at three to four years of age, and may live for 20 years or more.

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