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A comparison of body size, coat condition and endoparasite diversity of wild Barbary macaques exposed to different levels of tourism

By C. Borg, B. Majolo, M. Qarro, S. Semple

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Abstract

Primate tourism is a rapidly growing industry with the potential to provide considerable conservation benefits. However, assessing the impact of tourists on the animals involved is vital to ensure that the conservation value of primate tourism is maximized. In this study, we compared body size, coat condition, and endoparasite diversity of wild, adult Barbary macaques exposed to different levels of tourism. Study animals belonged to three groups located in the Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco: "green group" (GG) and "scarlet group" (SG) were exposed to negligible/no tourism, while the "tourist group" (TG) was exposed to very high levels of tourism. We used photogrammetry to quantify body size, scored coat condition from photographs, and quantified endoparasite species number from fecal samples. For both males and females, TG animals had deeper stomachs and wider hips than SG and GG animals. The coat condition of TG males was worse than that of SG and GG males, but no difference between groups was seen for females. Fecal samples from TG males contained a greater mean number of protozoan species than did samples from SG and GG males; for females a similar difference was found between TG and GG, but not between TG and SG. This study provides evidence that tourism has impacts on the body size, coat condition, and endoparasite diversity of Barbary macaques at this site. Further study is required to assess whether such effects are detrimental to the health of these animals.

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 49-63
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.2752/175303714x13837396326378
Language English
Author Address Centre for Research in Evolutionary and Environmental Anthropology, University of Roehampton, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD, UK.s.semple@roehampton.ac.uk
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Tags
  1. Africa
  2. Animals
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. Biological resources
  5. Body weight
  6. Conservation
  7. Developing countries
  8. Effect
  9. Females
  10. Health
  11. Hips
  12. Invertebrates
  13. Macaques
  14. Males
  15. Mammals
  16. Mediterranean region
  17. Monkeys
  18. Morocco
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. photography
  21. Primates
  22. Protozoa
  23. stomach
  24. Tourism and travel
  25. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed