The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines has received at least one application asking to capture wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis spp. philippensis) for research purposes. This could mean a revival in farms breeding and exporting macaques for research, using newly trapped monkeys as a source.
Sign now so that the Philippines government is made aware of the international concern about the capturing of its native wild monkeys for research or any purpose.
Primates are intelligent and social animals and capturing and removing them from their native habitat and family and social groups is cruel and can result in injuries and even death. Several official bodies and organisations recognise the suffering involved in the capturing of wild non-human primates. For example, the International Primatological Society:
"the capture of nonhuman primates from the wild is stressful for the animals and increases the suffering, risk of injuries, spread of disease and even death during capture, storage and transport"
Action For Primates and The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) appeal to the DENR to protect wild populations of its indigenous primates, not remove them from their native habitat. Macaca fascicularis spp. philippensis is listed under Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The Philippines, as a signatory to CITES, has a responsibility to safeguard the conservation status of the species. Furthermore, according to the most recent assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, Macaca fascicularis spp. philippensis is also listed as 'Near Threatened' with a population that is decreasing. Threats identified for the decline in this species were given as hunting and habitat loss.
The DENR, in considering whether to grant a permit to capture the wild macaques, cites an increase in the monkey population and conflicts with people. Instead, we urge the DENR to adopt a humane approach to deal with any human-macaque conflict. There are methods that can be used effectively to resolve conflicts humanely, including reproduction control, relocation and public awareness and education about measures people can adopt to discourage macaques from coming into their communities.
[photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals]