AAP prolongs Born to be Wild project

Born to be Wild, the special project that AAP started in Morocco together with IFAW in 2017, will be continued. Led by conservation biologist Imad Cherkaoui, AAP is taking over the project to protect wild Barbary macaques from extinction. The goal is a sustainable transfer of Born to be Wild to the local community and authorities. Reason for continuing the project is the very good results that have been achieved over the last three years together with IFAW. Most important result: the population of Barbary macaques in the project area increased by 32%.

For the past three years, a team of enthusiastic scouts has been deployed in Ifrane National Park under the banner of Born to be Wild. This Moroccan nature reserve is home to the vast majority of the remaining wild population of Barbary macaques. In 2008, research in the park confirmed that many groups of monkeys living near tourist sites were only half the size of the other groups. This was due to poaching, in which hundreds of young animals were snatched from the wild to entertain tourists in markets or to be sold as pets in Europe.


Over the past decade, the Barbary monkey has been the live mammal most frequently trafficked to Europe. This already caused a listing on the endangered species list of organizations such as IUCN and CITES. In addition, Barbary macaques are threatened by the disappearance of their habitat. Deforestation, illegal logging, forest fires and waste incineration make it difficult for the species to survive. The Born to be Wild approach now seems to be turning the tide. Not only do scouts patrol the park day and night to spot trafficking and other illegal activities, they also listen to the concerns of local fruit farmers who are bothered by the monkeys and provide education to tourists. At the same time, classes are offered in schools and local authorities receive training in the successful seizure of intercepted animals.

With the continuation of the project AAP wants to further slow down the influx of Barbary macaques to Europe. The earlier support of the National Postcode Lottery made it possible to temporarily continue Born to be Wild. AAP thanks the participants of the lottery very much for this and hopes that within a few years the project will run independently and sustainably to protect the Barbary macaques permanently!

More information about the project can be found here.

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