Another successful Conservation Week has come to an end at Monkey Forest. The week began on Saturday the 11th, with talks from leading experts at a special Conservation Evening. With seats filled with monkey lovers and primatologists from across the country, the evening was a brilliant success, and I was lucky enough to be part of such an exclusive event!
Having worked at Monkey Forest for nearly a year, I have gained valuable knowledge about the monkeys within the forest. In the beginning, it alerted me to learn that these monkeys are, in fact, an endangered species and I was keen to find out more about what is being done to help protect the wild Barbary macaques.
The evening provided listeners with detailed information about the monkeys and the worrying threats they face. Dr. Bonaventura Majolo kick started the event with a brilliant insight into The University of Linclions Barbary macaque Project.
Another fascinating talk, which made me want to visit morocco very soon, was given by Professor Stuart Semple. He spoke in detail about Eco-Tourism and an exciting project happening in Morocco which will soon allow tourists to see the monkeys in a controlled environment within their natural habitat.
One issue that was highlighted by Kristina Stazaker from the MPC (Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundations) which really grabbed my attention was the photo prop trade happening in Morocco. I myself have seen small monkeys used as a tourist attraction in various foreign countries, and along with many tourists, was unaware that this is actually illegal.
MPC predicts that baby monkeys used in the photo prop industry are taken from their mothers in the wild. Having witnessed the birthing season here at Trentham, I have seen just how valuable the babies are to the monkeys, and just how protective the group are of them.
For me, the evening really emphasised just how important education is in helping to raise awareness. Monkey Forest are delighted that this year our Conservation weeks have raised over £3000 which can help towards the brilliant causes that we sponsor. Additionally, a new Monkeys in the Wild game, which was displayed on tables during Conservation Week, has helped to educate Monkey Forest visitors about the threats the wild Barbary macaques face. Monkey Forest aims to raise awareness of these issues, and continue to provide a brilliant monkey experience for visitors!
If like me you want to keep up to date with the conservation of the Barbary macaques you can visit our conservation page, as well as visiting the MPCs website and The University of Lincolns Barbary macaque project page.
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The Owl Experience will be here on the 18th 19th October. Come along and take a look at owl conservation in action! There will also be live birds for you to admire and hold. Plus, get your picture taken with one of these beautiful birds (small fees occurs).
To find out more about the Owl Sanctuary visit their website http://www.theowlexperience.net/ .
Staffordshire Bat Group will be at Monkey Forest on the 25th-26th October with live displays and bundles of information. You can find out about the brilliant work being done to protect the UK bat species. Visit their website to find out more http://www.staffordshirebats.btck.co.uk/ .
This October half term Monkey Forest are having a Haunting Halloween. Head down to Monkey Forest, if you dare, for a range of ghoulish activities including a gooey tombola, spooky storytelling and a creepy colouring competition! Keep up to date with the latest happenings via our Facebook page, and be sure not to miss the fun!
The temperature is lowering and the leaves are falling as the forest transforms into a beautiful shade of orange. As autumn arrives, so too does our second Conservation Week of the year. Running from the 11th 17th October this week is the perfect time to highlight the ongoing work we do to help protect this fascinating species inhabiting Trentham Monkey Forest.
Something that people may not be fully aware of is the fact that our monkeys are actually an endangered species, along with the likes of Black Rhinos, Bengal Tigers and Sea Lions. The population of wild Barbary macaques has decreased by 50% in the 30 years and there are now only an estimated 8000 left in the wild!
Therefore, at Monkey Forest we have a strong commitment to Conservation, and have so far re-released over 600 Barbary macaques (from our sister parks) into the wild. Our aims include raising public awareness, developing educational information and ultimately strengthening the wild population.
Sadly, the decline in numbers is caused by habitat destruction and each year around 200 babies are taken from their mothers and sold as pets. If you have visited Monkey Forest recently you will have seen our 6 newest additions, who are happily exploring the forest, learning to climb (and falling back down), and making new friends. Despite them being extremely cute, they are wild animals and should not be sold as pets. This illegal pet trade is one of the main contributors to the rapid decline in population and something that must be stopped.
Conservation Week helps to highlight these increasing issues to the public. Our monkey-loving visitors can also get involved with this amazing cause as 50 pence of each visitors entrance ticket can be donated to one of our chosen organisations. We work very closely with the Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundations (MPC) and The University of Lincolns Barbary macaque project which both carry out valuable work to help protect the wild Barbary macaques.
As part of Octobers Conservation Week, we are extremely excited that for the second year running we will be holding another Conservation Evening! The evening will include talks from leading experts from both the MPC and University of Lincoln, who will be talking about the brilliant conservation work they do. A very exclusive event to be happening up North!
Ultimately, Conservation Week is an opportunity for us to help raise awareness and highlight the ongoing commitment that we have at Monkey Forest to the conservation of these endangered monkeys. The first years Conservation Week helped to raise a brilliant £1765.55, and we hope Octobers event will exceed this wonderful figure to help towards the protection of Barbary macaques. This year we are delighted we have had 6 valuable additions to the species, and hope you will support us in this ongoing commitment.
To find out more about Monkey Forests commitment to conservation visit the website (Link: http://www.trentham-monkey-forest.com/conservation.php?id_cat=2&id_sub_cat=9 ). You can also find out more about the organisation we support by visiting the MPC website (link: http://mpcfoundation.nl/) and the University of Lincolns The Barbary macaque project page (link: http://barbarymacaque.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/ ).
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