Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 21, 2013

Comparison of the terrestriality of Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) between tourist and wild sites in the region of Ouzoud, Morocco

Abderrazak El Alami EMAIL logo and Abderrahman Chait
From the journal Mammalia


We collected data on the terrestriality of two groups of Barbary macaques over a 7-month period: one group lived in a tourist site, while the other group lived in a wild site. The habitats of the study sites were classified similarly, but the tourist site is the only location where tourist and commercial activities take place. The present study indicates that the availability of human food and strong human disturbance can have a significant effect on the terrestrial behavior of the species. The two groups did not differ in the proportion of daily records devoted to terrestrial feeding, but the tourist group spent a significantly lower percentage of daily records in terrestrial foraging, moving and resting, while performing more terrestrial aggressive displays than the wild group. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the proportion of terrestrial feeding on fruits; however, the tourist group had lower daily percentages of terrestrial feeding on leaves, seeds and acorns, roots and barks, and herbs, while it spent higher daily percentages of terrestrial feeding on human food.

Corresponding author: Abderrazak El Alami, Faculty of Sciences, Laboratory of Pharmacology, Neurobiology and Behaviour, Semlalia, University of Caddy Ayyad, Boulevard Prince My Abdellah, BP 2390, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco, e-mail:


We thank the local forestry officials of The Moroccan Forestry department (Le Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre la Désertification), the local population and the mountain guides of Azilal province in Morocco. We are also grateful to anonymous reviewers for comments on a prior version of this article.


Altmann, J. 1974. Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods. Behaviour 49: 227–267.10.1163/156853974X00534Search in Google Scholar

Camperio Ciani, A. and L. Palentini. 2003. La deserticazione in Marocco: uso degli indicatori biologici nel monitoraggio della deserticazione delle foreste del Medio Atlante. Antropologia Mediterranea 1: 57–68.Search in Google Scholar

Camperio Ciani, A., L. Palentini, M. Arahou, L.Martinoli, C. Capiluppi and M. Mouna. 2005. Population decline of Macaca sylvanus in the middle atlas of Morocco. Biol. Conserv. 121: 635–641.10.1016/j.biocon.2004.06.009Search in Google Scholar

Deag, J.M. 1985. The diurnal patterns of behaviour of the wild Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus. J. Zool. 206: 403–413.10.1111/j.1469-7998.1985.tb05667.xSearch in Google Scholar

Drucker, G.R. 1984. The feeding ecology of the Barbary macaque and cedar forest conservation in the Moroccan Moyen Atlas. In: (J.E. Fa, ed.) The Barbary macaque: a case study in conservation. Plenum Press, New York, NY. pp. 135–164.Search in Google Scholar

El Alami, A. and A. Chait. 2012. Seasonal variation in activity budget and diet of the endangered Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) in the tourist valley of Ouzoud, central High Atlas, Morocco. Mammalia 76: 245–250.10.1515/mammalia-2011-0054Search in Google Scholar

El Alami, A., E. van Lavieren, R. Aboufatima and A. Chait. 2012. Differences in activity budgets and diet between semiprovisioned and wild-feeding groups of the endangered Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) in the central High Atlas Mountains, Morocco. Am. J. Primatol. 74: 210–216.10.1002/ajp.21989Search in Google Scholar

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2011.>. Downloaded on 9 January 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Machairas, I., A. Camperio Ciani and S. Sgardelis. 2003. Interpopulation differences in activity patterns of Macaca sylvanus in the Moroccan Middle Atlas. Human Evolut. 18: 185–202.10.1007/BF02436286Search in Google Scholar

Maréchal, L., S. Semple, B. Majolo, M. Qarro, M. Heistermann and A. MacLarnon. 2011. Impacts of tourism on anxiety and physiological stress levels in wild male Barbary macaques. Biol. Conserv. 144: 2188–2193.10.1016/j.biocon.2011.05.010Search in Google Scholar

Ménard, N. and D. Vallet 1986. Le régime alimentaire de Macaca sylvanus dans différents habitats d’Algérie: II – régime en forêt sempervirentes et sur les sommets rocheux. Revue d’Ecologie (Terre Vie) 41: 173–192.Search in Google Scholar

Ménard, N. and D. Vallet. 1997. Behavioral responses of Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) to variations in environmental conditions in Algeria. Am. J. Primatol. 43: 285–304.10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1997)43:4<285::AID-AJP1>3.0.CO;2-TSearch in Google Scholar

Unwin, T. and A. Smith. 2010. Behavioral differences between provisioned and non-provisioned Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Anthrozoos 23: 109–118.10.2752/175303710X12682332909855Search in Google Scholar

Van Lavieren, E. 2008. The illegal trade in Barbary macaques from Morocco and its impact on the wild population. Traffic Bulletin 21: 123–130.Search in Google Scholar

Van Lavieren, E. and S.A. Wich. 2009. Decline of the endangered Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus in the cedar forest of the Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco. Oryx 44: 133–138.Search in Google Scholar

Waters, S.S, M. Aksissou, A. El Harrad, M.E. Hobbelink and J.E. Fa. 2007. Holding on the Djebela: Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus in northern Morocco. Oryx 41: 106–108.10.1017/S0030605307001536Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2013-4-11
Accepted: 2013-11-20
Published Online: 2013-12-21
Published in Print: 2014-11-1

©2014 by De Gruyter

Downloaded on 6.12.2022 from
Scroll Up Arrow