Portrait of an injured adult male Barbary macaque

Barbary macaque

Barbary macaques are the only non-human primates found in Europe. There is a small population on Gibraltar although most live in the oak and cedar forests of Morocco and northern Algeria. They are also known as Barbary apes due to their lack of a tail, but they are actually Old World monkeys. Barbary macaques live in troops of as many as 100 members and the males help care for the young, grooming and playing with them. This distinguishes them from other macaques. The males sometimes focus attention on youngsters that aren't their offspring. This may be because females mate with all male members of the troop so paternity is uncertain.

Scientific name: Macaca sylvanus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Barbary ape,
  • Common macaque,
  • Rock ape


The Barbary macaque can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Europe. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Barbary macaque distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Barbary macaque