Monkeys without borders

The number of green monkeys continues to increase in Saint Martin, and their presence is becoming more of an issue.
This species is present on both sides of the island and the government of Sint Maarten contacted the Réserve Naturelle in light of a joint collaboration for their control on both sides of the frontier. Many residents have observed groups of these green monkeys in natural habitats, but also in urbanized areas such as Concordia, Hope Estate, Rambaud, or Terres Basses. People have found themselves nose-to-nose with a monkey stealing food from their kitchen, while others have noted aggressive behavior on the part of the monkeys toward humans and pets. These primates are also guilty of theft and damage caused in plant and vegetable gardens. Several decisions were made during the first two meetings about this problem: a census of the green monkeys and an estimation of the size of their population, question the public about their perception of the monkey’s presence, a look at the location of their habitats, and perhaps eventual birth-control program but not their eradication. Other islands, such as Saint Kitts, have tried to control their monkey populations by killing them with rifles, but without significant results. This new trans-frontier initiative to confront the green monkeys issue could be the first such collaboration in a series intended to control the invasive species on the lsland: common iguana, lionfish, Cuba tree frog, African snails, mongoose, or the creeping coral vine… As often happens when discussing collaboration between the two sides of the island, certain actions might contradict local regulations. If Sint Maarten plans to mark the animals with paint balls to count them, this approach seems difficult to envision in terms of French regulations. As the Réserve only has jurisdiction in the areas it manages, future programs outside of that perimeter must be integrated with appropriate services of the Collectivity and the French government

All articles from: Newsletter-24

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