Wildlife Conservation in the Rif Mountains, North Morocco

Our current initiatives are increasing public awareness regarding the protected status of the Barbary macaque to decrease the incidence of its capture for the pet trade or for use as photo props to attract tourists. We would like to expand our educational materials to include information about tortoises and vultures (the mountains where we are work are on the Europe-Africa bird migratory flyway. We are also facilitating visits of a health outreach team to seven villages (~2500 people) to provide health and educate village participants about basic health issues, while we conduct conservation awareness raising activities to reinforce the positive link between the conservation activities of BMAC and the local communities. We are currently repeating a Barbary macaque survey of the Rif Mountains assessing populations which have been the subject of our community conservation activities and those currently outside our area of activity.
BMAC uses an interdisciplinary perspective and an adaptive management approach to avoid negative impacts resulting from potential community misinterpretations of our activities. Our project is based around the principle of true inclusion of local people in conservation; of listening to and understanding their needs, and collaborating with them to create conservation strategies that work. Each of our initiatives encompasses carefully designed, socially and culturally appropriate projects that tackle issues in Barbary macaque conservation on a case-by-case basis depending on location and stakeholders.
Our community programs reassure local communities that we are concerned about their welfare. Access to healthcare is limited in the areas where we work and undiagnosed chronic diseases are common among vulnerable groups along with an unmet need for information about health. We would like to continue and expand our collaboration with the health outreach team to increase health outreach activities to vulnerable community members.