DAWN BEACH — Vervet monkeys appear to be taking over St. Maarten. Research by Nature Foundation into the monkey population found various breeding individuals and numerous infants. “This is worrying since this may lead to a sharp increase in the number of the monkeys.”
The foundation has received increasing complaints and reports of monkeys causing problems for residents throughout the Dutch side.
Nature Foundation has been conducting baseline surveys to determine the abundance and level of threat posed by the invasive monkey population. Extensive research on controlling the monkey population is also being conducted and government will receive a report from the foundation.
Experts used to dealing with monkeys and other exotic invasive animals will visit various locations in the country to come up with recommendations on the best way to approach the monkey problem.
Residents have contacted Nature Foundation about large groups of Vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) acting aggressively to residents and pets, overturning garbage bins in numerous districts, destroying gardens and garden furniture and defecating on people’s property. The monkeys have been known to act aggressively if they feel threatened and 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 and fruit plants and trees.
Residents are urged by the foundation to not approach these animals.
If monkeys are spotted, residents are asked to contact Nature Foundation so the animals can be recorded. If a monkey, raccoon or any other unusual animal is observed, contact Nature Foundation on tel. (1-721) 544-4267 or via email@example.com.