St. Maarten Nature Foundation addresses island’s monkey problem

POSTED: 11/3/14 7:44 PM

St. Maarten – After receiving numerous complaints and reports of monkeys causing problems for residents in various island districts following the passing of Hurricane Gonzalo, the St. Maarten Nature foundation met with the necessary stakeholders to address the issue. Even in districts where the Foundation has not recorded monkeys, such as on Front and Backstreet in Philipsburg, there have been sightings of the animals. Many residents have been contacting the Nature Foundation regarding large groups of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), acting aggressively towards residents and their pets, throwing over garbage bins, destroying gardens and garden furniture, and defecating on people’s property.

The Nature Foundation has been researching extensively on what can be done to control the population and has met with various stakeholders on some of the options in controlling the population: “With the worrying trend in the increase of the size of the monkey population, we have been reaching out both locally and to our conservation colleagues in the region to come up with a plan on what to do to control the population. Of course, there are many options, such as capture and neuter/ spay or birth control, but one needs to be found, which is cost effective and which does not cause pain or suffering to the animals. The issue is that these methods, even the less expensive options, cost tens of thousands of dollars to run effectively. Therefore, the research phase of tackling this issue is critical,” read a Nature Foundation statement.

The monkeys have been known to act aggressively if they feel threatened. The Nature Foundation urges residents to not approach these animals, but rather contact the foundation so that the animals can be recorded. In the coming weeks, there will be various exchanges with experts in various locations who are used to dealing with monkeys and other exotic invasive animals, in order to come with recommendations to the authorities as to what should be the best way to approach this problem.

These animals can also have a negative effect on our local flora and fauna. Monkeys are not picky eaters and will eat anything from bird eggs to ornamental objects and fruit plants and trees.

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Comments (1)


  1. Boo Booth says:

    Now that the cow has drowned you’re going to cover the well? I’m sure you were aware of this monkey problem a long time ago. People have been complaining for years now about them, but to you they were just cutesy little critters. Now that they have exploded in groups and sizes you have to consult your experts as to what to do with them. Neuter them, capture and send them up the islands to, St. Kitts and Dominica. They will be welcomed there as they are a delicacy. Don’t go knocking these people’s culture as some people don’t eat what you eat, like pork and beef.