Barbados Pocket Guide

Monkies

green-monkeyThe Barbados Green Monkey

Originally from West Africa some 350 years ago, the Barbados green monkey (Chlorocebus) has a thick fur that is brownish-grey in colour with specks of yellow and olive green. The face, hands, and feet are black and hairless with bluish abdominal skin.

 

Infant monkeys are born with little or no fur at all and appear blue in colour. These infants are usually carried by their mothers by clinging onto her stomach and chestand being protected constantly with one arm. This protection moulds them quickly as they soon move on from mothers once they are old enough to work things out on their own.

 

These primates spend most of the day feeding and at night can be found resting in trees. Water is a very integral part of their diets and so they must have it daily.

 

Did you know that monkeys scream when they are disciplined by members of the troop?

 

Destructive Habits

In recent times, monkeys have been known to venture from their natural habitats in search of food, which to them seems more readily available around homes across the island. This unwanted interaction between man and monkey has been quite problematic on the island of Barbados as crops are consistently damaged as a result of the intervention of monkeys.

 

As early as the 17th century, a monetary reward was temporarily enforced on green monkeys. In 1975, the population grew rapidly and as a result they were seen as menaces to society as they destroyed crops across the island in search of food.

 

A $5 bounty was reinstituted for every tail that was brought into the Ministry of Agriculture. In an effort to safeguard the monkey, the Primate center offered $25 for every monkey that was captured alive  and unharmed.

 

Back in 2006, Barbados experienced an island-wide power outage as a result of an 11,000 and 24,000-volt powerline tripping. Reports indicated that a monkey was seen climbing a light pole that might have possibly caused the outage to occur. The blackout posed a major inconvenience to the island as it lasted from early morning until after mid-day.

 

The Green Monkey can still be found predominately in rural parishes where natural vegetation is very prevalento. These would include parishes such as St. Andrew, St. Joseph, St. John, St. Thomas. Very recently, the Green Monkey has been boldly walking onto hotel grounds and in some instances scaring the living daylights out of locals.

 

Whatever you do, please don’t throw anything at any of these monkeys as they have a reputation for throwing things right back at you.

 

Barbados Wildlife Reserve

In 1982 Canadian primatologist Jean Baulu and his wife Suzanne established the Barbados Primate Research Centre in an effort to study and conserve the Green Monkey. In 1985, it was expanded through funding from the Canadian International Development Agency.

 

The early afternoon feeding time is a prime time to witness the dozens of Green Monkeys that come out and get fed by the employees of the Reserve.

 

In addition to the many Green Monkeys that freely roam this enclosured facility, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is also home to a wide variety of other animals that freely roam the facility without separation from visitors.

 

Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2012 19:35
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